Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Maybe I should take up drinking?

When I signed up for Making Art That Sells, I thought it would be just what I needed at this point in my art licensing career. I have my Silhouette and Timeless Treasures licenses, and client projects, but my work felt sort of stagnant. I've been wanting to bring in some more hand-drawn imagery especially into my fabric designs, but am not sure quite how to combine it with digital. I was hoping the class would help sort it out.

I thought it would teach me a lot and be a lot of work (it is both)… but I had this notion that it would be tons of fun. Strangely and surprisingly, I'm finding it difficult and frustrating, and in classic melodramatic Jen style, it's having me doubting my talent and ambition and feeling discouraged and mopey.

The first week was bolt fabric… fun and easy, right? Nope. It was like my friend's husband in his bowling tournament: I crashed and burned. Fun sketching… but frustrating coming up with a print I was even sort of happy with.

I was slightly nervous about week two (plates), which I have no experience designing for…. again I had lots of fun sketching, but the final assignment was the same kind of thing as week 1.

Then last week was children's books, which I do have a bit of experience with. I really enjoyed creating the week's assignment -- I was excited to work on it! -- and thought the final result was a bit better than weeks 1 & 2, but it has the same stiff, uncomfortableness as my other two assignments.

This week it's wall art. I'm feeling even more anxious about it.

It's probably that I'm putting too much pressure on myself to come up with something super awesome. If I was still 21, I might try drinking a few beers and working on my assignment.

Once semester in college, I took a figure drawing course with a very colorful professor. She always wore black clothes, patterned knee socks and black Chuck Taylors. I remember us giggling over her artwork when we found out she created sculptures of giant phalluses (we were only 20 or 21, after all!)

One night some friends and I imbibed before starting in on our homework, which was drawing each other in charcoal. The next day we hung up our work in the studio. Judy came in and studied the drawings. She commented on mine, not knowing whose it was. "Such freedom, so loose and wonderful! Whose is this?" "It's mine," I replied, "but not my best work. I had a little to drink before I drew it." She said, "Well, I'd say you need to drink EVERY time you draw!" Everyone laughed.

I've never forgotten that. It was said jokingly, but there was a real lesson within: lighten up, have fun, stop taking everything so seriously! Tap into your humor and quirkiness!

Art has always been fun for me, and if it's not, like these past couple weeks, I need to figure out how to make it fun again. So, with that, here's what I want to accomplish during the rest of MATS:

- HAVE FUN and enjoy the process; play lots.
- Remember this is NOT a competition.
- Remember that everyone's taste is different & everyone is at a different place in their art.
- Play with combining hand-drawn / hand painted stuff with digital.

Okay? No big deal. Calm down. It's all good. Everything will look better in the morning. I can so totally do this. Yay team. Breeeeathe. Go into the studio and make some great stuff!


  1. Jennifer, I'm experiencing a lot of the same feelings throughout the course. Thanks for sharing your challenges and I know you will find your fun again! Maybe we can share some virtual beers over the end of the course!

    1. Thx for sharing. It was very difficult for me as well. I am still recovering from my own insecurities.

  2. Hi Jennifer! My name is Heather and I was hoping you could answer my question about your blog! Please email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)