Today I'm excited to have guest Rachele Alexander here on the blog. She quietly and tirelessly works every single evening making her expressive art. She's been doing it for 72 straight days! I can't wait for you to meet her and see her work.
Crystal: Hi Rachele, tell us a little about you.
Rachele: I live in Annapolis, MD with my cat Nova who is convinced he can assist with my creative habits, mostly by stealing my pencils and leading me on a chase through the apartment. I'm a UI designer and Quality Assurance Tester for a mobile app development company by day. By night I'm an aspiring independent artist trying to figure out my own voice and point of view. I took two trips to college, once for Information Systems and the next for Computer Animation. For a long time I've focused primarily on digital media but I'm focusing a lot more on traditional drawing and painting recently. I love creepy and eerie imagery and am trying to find my own approach.
Crystal: Awesome! So tell everyone about your creative habit.
Rachele: My habit is all about experimentation. I'd been feeling stagnant for a very long time. I spent a long time focusing on what I thought I should be and getting discouraged and frustrated when I didn't measure up. But recently I've come to the realization that all this time I've neglected my own point of view in favor of trying to fit a mold I had identified as ideal. It was right around this time that I found your blog and everything just clicked. So I decided above all my creative habit would be to experiment with different media - to learn the ins and outs. One thing I've always struggled with is frustration. I'm very impatient by nature and if I don't immediately get the results I want I get very frustrated and dejected. For this project I've been determined to work through my frustration and not let it beat me. I started out with ink and that was a blast. Then I switched over to charcoal in month two and I've been hooked. It's not the first time I've worked with it but it is the first time I've just let myself play and experiment without worrying about the results. I feel like I'm starting to find my own voice as an artist. For now I'm happy to stick with charcoal but I do want to try out some mixed media techniques in the future.
Crystal: You are 72 days into this and you have a day job, so how do you get it done?
Rachele: I am by no means a morning person so I always work at night after I get off work. I don't really have a specific routine. I just come home, make dinner, relax for a bit then at some point crack open my sketchbook. My habit time has become a vital part of how I wind down after a hectic day. If I'm stressed or frustrated that all melts away after a few minutes of making a mess in my sketchbook. I really look forward to drawing every day but there are some nights where I'm completely exhausted and just don't want to do anything other than flop on the couch and watch Chopped. But then I think about how hard I've worked to get this chain going, how long I've kept this up. Do I really want to break that now? I tell myself I can quit after ten minutes and that gets me moving. Once I get momentum going I usually work much longer.
Crystal:Have you noticed any benefits?
Rachele: Having a creative habit just makes me so happy! I look back at my work and I can see that I'm growing every day. If I come home in a bad mood I can sit down and make a total mess with art and my mood and attitude are totally transformed. And knowing that I'm taking tangible steps toward my goals just makes me more motivated to keep working.
You can see my drawing for today here.