I was scrolling through my old art from January this year as I was prepping to plop on another year for my improvement meme when I stumbled upon that first picture. Given the recent couple portraits I've done, plus the general practice I've done throughout this year, I was like, hey, I can definitely do better! I was up to the challenge :)
I wasn't overly fond of it back then from the start, but I knew it was practice, and that practice helped lead me to the second portrait. I could not have drawn this second portrait as well had I not failed many times before. And while this one has its flaws, it's damn clear that I've learned a thing or two from this year.
Which is actually a great feeling. I've been trying to really push enjoyment this year versus worrying about quality. (In general, I'm a quanity over quality person, but when I wanna make quality, I focus on quality. For this year, I wanted to focus more on being happy and loving what I do.) I think it's helped my psychological well being and given me less stress and anxiety, but there was this inkling at the back of my mind that compared to my brute force method of last year, I won't see as big of a jump in this year. I told myself that that was okay and actually what I wanted.
Of course last year was great too, I needed that to happen. I needed to pour myself into my art and really push myself to improve. But once that year ended, I could tell how exhausted I was. I was happy with what I accomplished, but at the same time, I could tell that this wasn't sustainable long term. That's why I switched to being more laid back this year, just doing random things and trying not to worry. Because of feeling like I was putting in less effort, because I expected this year's growth to be small, I'm extra blown away by the image above.
Regardless if the jump had been large, I think I still would've been happy with the result. (But damn if I ain't jumping up and down right now LOL) But I really do think that with art, it's important to take care of yourself and listen to your needs. I know that might sound silly, but coming from someone who stressed like no tomorrow that I had to be better than my peers, that I had to have that success--it wasn't healthy. The only race is the race against yourself. And I think if these past two years have taught me anything, it just emphasizes that even more. I feel more comfortable with my process, I feel much less stress, and I feel happier in general. Not just about my art, but in my life. (Fighting to "win" against my peers greatly affected my overall happiness, but once I let that go, it's like a whole new world. *flys off on magic carpet*)
Anyhoo, enough boring blabber, here is the part ya'll came for lmao: