The first week to ten days of my daily habit was a struggle! Let me put that more bluntly. I hated everything about that first week. I hated this new sketchbook. I hated collage. I hated finding a subject each day. I was not having fun.
It took awhile but I finally zeroed in on my real problem: I wasn't studying or learning anything. My days weren't tied together into a bigger picture or story. So I took a trip to the library and just looked around, ending up in the art section. I checked out a bunch of books on various artists and decided to study, much like Kleon's creative family tree idea.
The first day I read Dali: The Reality of Dreams and made the digital collage at the top. I posted it on Instagram and said that "he's a really difficult dude for me to relate to." Then something awesome happened. Someone commented and asked me if I knew he was good friends with Walt Disney. No, I did not! But that gave me something else to study. :)
So I googled that and learned all about their collaboration and the recent exhibition of their work. That was so much fun. I decided that I'd start setting the timer. Read/study for at least 15 minutes and then draw something based on what I'd learned.
Yesterday I veered off track a bit to spend some time listening to David Bowie and reading all the articles about his amazing life.
Then today I picked back up with Disney reading They Drew As They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney's Golden Age. I read about Ferdinand Horvath and how he was a prisoner of war before he began working for Walt Disney.
I really enjoyed the foreword to this book written by Pete Doctor. Here's the first few paragraphs:
"A concept artist at Disney in the 1940's. It seems like a dream job, doesn't it? No rules, no preexisting styles to follow, working alongside some of the best artists in the world. Just sit all day in a comfortable office...and draw.
Yet most who achieved this enviable position only lasted a few years. They got frustrated, anxious, insecure, and burned out. Why? What made this dream job so difficult?
For starters, there is that blank piece of paper starting up at you. What at first seems like freedom can end up overwhelming in its infinite possibilities. Inspiration doesn't always arrive on schedule, but the deadlines don't change."
I love that, seeing the struggle of a Disney artist. You are never alone in the creative process.