February 7, 2007

A time to embrace...

I am so excited!

After a few years of having artistic development on the backburner, it seems the time has been coming to embrace it once again.

Recent months have brought some amazing opportunities... from a chance encounter with the extremely generous Paul Felix at Disney, to more extended exposure to the enthusiastic teaching of Mike Matessi at his Entertainment Art Academy. With help from experienced artists like these, I'm finally learning to see that my work needs work, and specifically what areas to improve upon. It's been really inspiring! I'm fortunate to start with some good raw talent, which through experience has been able to get me this far... but like any skill, it needs cultivation through discipline, diligence, and the direction of someone who knows things I don't!

"The artist is nothing without the gift,
but the gift is nothing without work."
- Emile Zola

So this year I've started taking some drawing classes, back to the basics of perspective and the figure, and it's been helping so much!! In some ways I feel like I've been learning to draw for the first time, not just in markmaking skills, but in learning to see with the eyes and understanding of a draftsman. With it has come a deeper sense of appreciation, both for the work of other artists who have excelled in their craft, and for the work of the Creator and all the care, detail, and design he has poured into this world.

Alongside the classes, I'm starting out in some new directions work-wise, and learning to survive as a freelance artist. Who knows where this will lead, but already it's been a great challenge to grow from, for business and organization as much as for art. Tomorrow I'm starting up my first major illustration job and I get paid to practice the skills I've been learning in class!!

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm pretty excited.

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