Hi, dear readers! It's been forever!
I'm back from Switzerland and recovered from the worst jet lag ever...! Time to get blogging again.
Maybe you remember my post on creative goals and personal improvement for the year?
I thought that July would be the perfect month for a quick recap of how far I got with these personal art projects and self-improvement goals!
Did you have new year's resolutions?
Plans for 2018? How are you doing?
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My first goal was: Watercolors!
While I use a lot of watercolors for my work as a freelance illustrator, I felt like my skills had stagnated for a while - and I'd even gotten worse at some techniques, like realism, thanks to lack of practice.
So for 2018, I wanted to experiment, test unfamiliar techniques, and dabble in "realistic" watercolor art. After all, my roots are in science illustration...
I stuck with it and couldn't be happier!
- I gave myself little challenges, like filling empty spaces on old watercolor paper.
- I focused on techniques I enjoyed but wanted to practice further, like galaxy paintings.
- I used online tutorials in my spare time to get inspired and to find step-by-step instructions.
The practice and focus paid off since I also got to work on
new album cover illustrations!
The consistent practice also had me (just barely haha...)
confident enough to finally start drawing a new comic!
I'd been working on the story/script for a couple years during National Novel Writing Months as I describe here, but never quite felt ready to actually set the brush to paper.
But now the first part is up and I'm excited for more! If you like my watercolor drawings (especially Korea-themed ones since it's set in ancient Korea, on Jeju Island!) I hope you'll enjoy this webcomic, too!
If you've got a moment, I'd love to hear your feedback! <3
Calligraphy & Hand-Lettering Practice
This is another goal that's a lot of fun to pursue!
I started out with modern calligraphy classes like this one for beginners from Skillshare!
I mostly experiment with new styles by drawing tiny book doodles for my bullet journal reading tracker - the inspiration that comes with book covers is wonderful to get me motivated!
Also, I keep my eyes open for interesting calligraphy in the wild. Like the travel sketch below from a cafe in Frankfurt called The Holy Cross Brewery, for which I focused on the lettering instead of drawing.
Gratitude logs took some getting used to - I'd find myself happily journaling along, only to then hit a stressful period and default to just to-do lists again.
But I've found that whenever I stick with gratitude logs (even if just for a couple of days!) I'm:
- Much more perceptive of positive events and emotions.
- Remember the past days in more detail.
- With each day of continuous logging, I seem to find MORE things I'm grateful for!
While I like using tiny doodles for my gratitude journaling (you can see a simple example here!) I often just jot down a couple lines each evening, just before I write down my tasks for the next day.
There's a wonderful tutorial on using creative journaling in your daily life. It's called "Draw Your Life" and it's a more elaborate version of what I do here, with tips on how to start and then take your journaling art to the next level, no matter your drawing skills. It especially appeals to the comic artist in me! You can give the tutorial class a try if you need some more inspiration to get started with your own doodle diary.
Just after I wrote down my intention to focus on yoga this year (my illustrator's shoulders need it...), by a wonderful lucky accident, I joined a friend for a sample class at a tiny yoga studio that had just opened in our area.
I've been going to that studio three times a week ever since!
Not only is the long, 90-minute session of Hatha yoga incredibly helpful in correcting my posture, it also built strength, confidence (headstand!), and forces me to get up every morning at 6 am. On top of that, I have to walk there, so yoga class days are perfect for getting about 5000 steps in, which is rare for me as I work at home.
All in all, definitely on track and motivated to challenge myself in the future, too!
Korean Language Study
... Definitely slacked on this one!
While I've learned a fair bit of new vocabulary thanks to the mentioned Korean-only yoga class as well as the new relationships formed there, I haven't been studying consistently AT ALL.
Just before I left to visit my family in Switzerland I bought a new interesting textbook, though - News in Korean by TTMIK. I've started working my way through the chapters and really enjoy the slightly more challenging content and well-structured lessons. It's definitely more motivating than trying to find lessons online that fit my current skill level...
I also hope that I'll find some Korean drama or movie that will interest me enough to watch and take vocabulary notes!
Video Filming & Editing
Like the Korean language study goal, this one has fallen by the wayside...
I've been filming a lot lately, though, thanks to being the proud owner of a functioning camera again! :D On top of just producing more content, I'm keeping an eye (or two) open for interesting tutorials and courses...
You can get TWO months of Skillshare Premium access for free as a reader of my blog! So if you're about to tackle watercolors, journals, a blog, a business launch, a creative project of any kind, you really need to check out their vast library of well-made tutorials - I've learned so much myself through Skillshare myself!
That's my year so far when it comes to personal & creative goals!
All in all I'm really happy with how things fell into place (stumbling over a yoga class, getting to publish comics again...) and there's still half the year left to get more focused on language studies and video editing!