Wednesday, November 10, 2010

IF: Parable

About two months ago, I decided I would start participating in Illustration Friday (IF), as a way to start getting back to drawing and making art. I figured it would be a good little exercise, a way to knock the rust off my creative gears when it came to my art. My first IF assignment was for the word "dessert", which you can see here. The second week, the IF assignment posted was "parable." I love fairy tales, folk tales and parables so I didn't figure I'd have a problem coming up with an idea.

Then I promptly ran into a brick wall.

It wasn't writer's block, it was artist's block. It lasted throughout the week, and I missed the IF posting deadline. I still wanted to draw something for the assignment though, but the longer it went, the worse it got, and self-doubt crept in. When I decided to take on the IF assignments, I thought I might have difficulty making time to work on my art. I never anticipated simply not having the brain-power to come up with an idea to begin with. I've never experienced that before, when it comes to my visual art, and it was incredibly frustrating to me.  I gave up.

Then, weeks later, out of nowhere, an idea came to me while I was at work. I hadn't even been thinking about the assignment (like I said, I'd given up), but suddenly the fable of the tortoise and the hare popped into my head. I quickly sketched out the idea on a post-it note so I wouldn't forget - the tortoise with a blue first place ribbon stuck to his shell - thinking I would execute a full-blown piece of work based on the sketch later.  Turns out I like this little draft instead, so here it is below, complete with yellow post-it note background.

I find it ironic that, after being stuck, discouraged, and giving up - the image that finally came to mind was the tortoise. Ah, the irony wasn't lost on me. Here I was, with my new endeavor (i.e. drawing again, and completing the IF assignments) starting out at a snail's pace, if not almost a complete failure.  Well, I'll try to remember now that slow and steady wins the race.  I've taken a lesson from this picture and will try to listen to myself. I've lowered my expectations. Maybe I can't do the IF assignment every week.  Maybe I'll only do one drawing a month.  I just need to be happy in whatever I can find time to do, not put as much pressure on myself, and show myself a little grace. It's a start...


chandy said...

I love it! It's adorable! And especially meaningful since it taught you a little lesson in the process ;)

never give up!

Anonymous said...

Yes! Hi little guy. Keep moving. One scaly foot in front of the other.

Laura said...

I love that he's not a "cartoon" turtle. :)

D.L. White said...

@Chandy - Thanks! :)

@Chad - You're funny...

@Laura - Thanks! I can do cartoony, but that's not what came to mind when I thought of him. :)

Although I'm pretty sure his proportions and legs are a little "off" but I still think he's pretty good, considering I didn't use a reference or photograph.