Steven Pressfield’s book “The War of Art” is a psychological Rosetta Stone for the unmotivated artist. It reveals to you why, how — and most importantly — that you are not alone in the struggle. Far from it. In fact, “your” struggle is so common, the first insight you get from the book is that you can stop identifying with that struggle immediately because it isn’t unique to you in the slightest.
Pressfield personifies this struggle with the monolithic, capitalized name: Resistance. “The War of Art” offers deeply useful tools for battling Resistance (your key insight is that the battle will never go away, so better to be good at stepping up to the challenge each day than to expect an eventual truce or victory over Resistance). But I wanted to go deeper. I wanted to follow Resistance back to it’s lair. And I ended up encountering Bigfoot on this quest.
I’ve been a bit slack in mentioning the Kickstarter campaign I’ve been running for my art merchandise crowd funding project, the “Bigfoot Patrol Membership Kit”. The art and design was all created by me with the underlying concept of “What if the National Park system had an actual division to track Bigfoot in all those acres of wilderness int he park system?” I went for a fun “Junior Ranger” approach to some of the merchandise, with echoes of my Star Wars Fan Club and KISS Army memberships as a kid.
If you are unfamiliar with Kickstarter, basically it’s a way to raise funds for projects as a sort of a pre-order system. If the funding isn’t reached 100%, you do not have to pay. Which means I need your pledges to help reach my funding goal!
I’ve recently started up a Daily Sketch routine for my cartoon artwork. I’m doing it for a lot of reasons besides just to create more artwork — overcoming perfectionism, becoming faster and more efficient on the technical, hand skills and software level, training my brain to work with tighter deadlines and as always, to overcome Resistance.
I’m aiming to share my three favorite sketches of the week here every Sunday evening.
I have suffered for some time under the illusion that “being an artist” was a goal. A thing. An identity. It’s not. An artist is a byproduct of the process of creating art.
There is no such thing as “being an artist”. You can be “someone who creates art”, but an artist is really a verb. It’s a pattern. To paraphrase Alan Watts, it’s like this whirlpool in a river — not made of this water or that water, but rather of the pattern of energy. The water only flows through that energy pattern which is the actual whirlpool. Thus, an artist too is this whirlpool, this pattern of energy, and art flows through it.
In-progress artwork for some personal art I’m currently working on. See more art like this on my personal art website portfolio.
I just posted our 15th podcast over at The Apple Artist. If you’re a digital artist working on a Mac, this is for you. Joined by my Mac artist friends Krishna Sadasivam and Tracy Bishop. We discuss the popular Cintiq alternative Yiynova MSP19u and the brand new Manga Studio 5. As usual, filled with other tips, app suggestions and other geeky stuff. I’ve even been told that PC artists find it helpful!