Crystal: Tell me about your daily system. When do you fit it into your day? What's your routine for getting it done?
Su Ann: I love working in the morning but due to certain commitments, I could only work either in the afternoon or at night which becomes a mad rush to get at least one drawing done for the day.
I used to be a stickler for schedules and rigid routines. I can tell you, this is not a productive method at all. When my day didn’t go accordingly, I would have no mood to draw or do anything at all.
So, I have learned to be more flexible and just go with the flow of the day, squeezing in whatever time I have to draw.
Also having a social account like Instagram helps (for my case). It acts as a constant reminder for me to not break the habit after looking at how far I have come along, from the start of the project up to the current day. So, I don’t have a specific routine but what also gets me going is a simple promise to myself to improve on my drawing so that I can achieve my dream of using this skill to create my own business career.
C: How do you decide what to draw? Where do your ideas come from?
SA: That is a tough question!
Honestly, my drawing topics are quite random. Sometimes it is decided by the music that I was listening to at that moment, aimless surfing the internet, reading articles from design blogs, looking at other artists’ blog and artworks, or when I come across cute characters. Looking at other artists’ artwork always give me a hint of what to draw or practice for the day. So it is good to have a sort of ‘mentor’ to look up to. Another way is by joining those community art prompts challenges like #spoonchallenge and #31playfuldays where they suggest prompts for you to do.
Ideas are really hard to come by; they don’t pop into our mind instantly, no matter how I wish they do. Most of the time, I will try different things like learning other artists’ art style, look at patterns, and mix around the styles and apply it to my own drawing. When I am really stuck, I would just reference others’ artworks and practice drawing, just to keep the ‘art habit’ flowing.
C: What materials do you use?
SA: Any empty books (lined or blank pages) I could find at home, along with pencils and ball-point pens. Then, in May this year, I was introduced to the wonders of Sharpie markers – extra fine point and fine point – and have been having fun drawing with it ever since. Asides from these, I use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator for my vector artwork.
C: How long have you been doing this? And have you seen any changes in your life or work since you've been doing this?
SA: I was in a rut for half a year and was trying to find some way to jumpstart when I came across an online article about your year of creative habits and a video on tangle patterns. After reading your blog, I was inspired to follow your lead, attempt to draw daily and to further practice and develop my skills and art style. So, it has been a challenging five months now. Cheers!
Oh yes, changes definitely have happened. I feel more comfortable drawing on paper and making mistakes, as normally I only work with vectors and there is always that “undo” button a click away. I have also grown more confident with my drawing as I’ve gained some response from other Instagram users. But most importantly, when I compared my drawing with last year’s work and even at the start of this project, I find that my drawing has become more ‘solid’ in form and refined with details and patterns.
I feel much happier and more determined as I know that I am taking steps towards my goal, which in turn makes me motivated to continue on this art path. So, a good positive cycle is going on here.
C: What suggestions do you have for others who are wanting to develop a creative habit?
SA: Like the famous Nike tagline, JUST DO IT! Whether it’s writing a book or drawing, don’t worry about breaking the chain; just take things one day at a time, one step at a time. Surround yourself with a positive group of like-minded people or community to get your momentum rolling and share your project and progress (if it helps). Have someone that you look up to, like Crystal’s blog for one. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t put ridiculously high expectations on yourself. And last, but not least, have fun while doing it.
Thank you Su Ann for sharing with us!
Check out Su Ann's webiste Morning Mobi to see some of these guys in color and vector form. I especially love how recently on Instagram she's posting the drawing and the vector side-by-side. It is so cool to see that process. You can see more of Su Ann's work here:
If you'd like to see my daily drawing it's here. I'm still playing along with #31playfuldays. :)