Earlier this year I made a promise to myself that I'd do what I could do improve my drawing and storytelling skills. January resolutions seem so attainable and far easier in theory than when put into practice; go to the gym more, draw more, call home more. All of these things must become habit before you notice results, and forming habits (even breaking the old, bad ones) takes time, effort, dedication and tremendous self-discipline.
In terms of my art and storytelling (I'll get to gym and calling home more later...) I am confident that I've taken steps to improve myself. I carry a sketchbook everywhere and draw in it whenever I have a moment to spare or when I see something interesting that I just HAVE to get down on paper. I've revisited projects from the past which were pushed to one side but still have potential, re-developing them and remembering why I started them in the first place.
Just last week I attended the wonderful Stephen Silver's Character Design Workshop, and it re-ignited a passion for art that's always been there but has been muted by the day-to-day grind of adult responsibilities. To be in a classroom again surrounded by like-minded individuals all with the same passion and hunger for knowledge was all the inspiration I needed to drag myself out of a rut, and back onto a path where I can get back into developing myself and my work and hopefully opening new doors of opportunity in the future.
A few sketches from the class:
Another thing which has helped me hugely this year is attending local artist meetups, notably 'Cake and Doodle' in Manchester. It's a great way for me to relax, forget the stresses of the working day and chat with some amazingly talented, lovely people over a cake and lemonade. If you're ever feeling isolated when drawing alone at home, see if there's an art meetup in your community! Websites like meetup.com are a handy way of finding out.
As far as gym goes, it's honestly become something I HAVE to do to avoid feeling like my body is falling apart. I'm only 30, but sitting at a desk all day really affects your back! So far I've managed 2 workout classes per week and I'm feeling confident to try more now that I'm getting stronger. It's also a huge mood-booster and has been a massive plus for my mental energy. As has calling home more. Since moving away I still experience bouts of homesickness but it's manageable when you know you can pick up the phone and talk to your nearest and dearest.
I love calling people and hearing their voices. We don't do that so much nowadays with our WhatsApps and Messengers...!
Anyway, it's nice to be updating here again. I'll aim to make this a regular thing - monthly at the very least.
Keep pushing forward!