Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Was So Angry With Myself ! ! !

because I settled. I was overwhelmed at thinking that I had to rebuild my portfolio from scratch so I only put half a heart into my first piece.

After I wrote the words, "I think this is the limit of my skill level at this point in time." in the last blog post, I soon got  angry with myself. How could I expect so little of myself, and how will I expect anyone to want to pay me to draw and paint if all I could give was something half-assed? (I mean, look at the wildflowers I painted last blog. Those are clearly half-assed!!!) I couldn't sleep afterwards. I need to shoot for something higher than my current comfort level. I am not good where I currently am. I need to strive. I hope this re-painted version shows that. I will try harder from now on; I owe my readers and future employers/clients the best I can deliver. I can sleep better if I know I did my best.

a zoomed in view...

It's now 3:00 in the morning and I still have to get my Illustration Friday piece for tomorrow! I will try to post something late tomorrow night. For now I shall crawl into bed and collapse.



Sadami said...

Dear Tiffanny,
In my eyes, the work is beautiful and well-done. Please be kind to yourself. Take a rest well.
Kind regards, Sadami

Matthew Gauvin said...

Tiffany, I think your blog is becoming one of my new blog addicitions. Right up there with James Gurney and Brad Teare! haha. Seriously, they are the only two blogs I have visited on a regular basis and something about your art has brought me back at least once a month which is a big deal considering most blogs I follow I barely ever visit.

You put tons of work into your video tutorials and it was great fun to see you paint some still lifes and it's allways fun to see the short stories you illustrate of "when I was a Stupid Kid".I was originally drawn in by your unbelievable skill level with character design and your fantastic line work when drawing figures and characters. All of which is by far one of my biggest struggles in my art.
The other thing that keeps me coming back is that I've seen you aren't willing to settle. You seem to keep pushing forward with each new task you set for yourself. So I knew we were all in for a treat when you announced you would be doing this new portfolio and asking for advice. It's a tough thing to ask for advice when we're talking about watercolor because inevitably someone will say the one thing that can't be fixed on the current piece and just might need to repaint. arrrgh! haha.

I suppose that is the main reason I've stayed away from watercolor for so many years. But from reading your blog I began to be convinced that watercolor really is an excellent medium when done well. You were one of the inspirations for my recent book and first book done in watercolor. I had soooo much fun on that book that I'm now working on a second in watercolor. So THANKS! LOL
This revision you did is astounding! I think I "settled" on your previous version too and I'm confident that was good enough for some art directors as it was for us. SO seeing this new piece was quit un expected and yet a very welcome surpirse. The colors and flowers and grass in this scream to be noticed by the excited wandering eyes of young children and adults alike. I knew you had this in you because I've seen it in other art you did, like the image that you did for that competition a while back. The one with the huge grassy meadow and I think a couple figures in extreme foreground. Anyway,at this rate I'm expecting to see your first children's book out sooner than later. I'll besure to get a signed copy! Thanks for sharing your learning process and art with us.

Amy said...

You are a super-talented illustrator and do beautiful watercolor!! Speaking as someone with a tough inner critic, it's important to give yourself a lot of love along with the editor's notes or the joy of creating disappears. And there are great things about both versions. The colors in this second version are bright and lovely and there's more contrast, but I think you captured something natural and effortless in the original. Something about the clouds & grass, and the weight of the horse.

I'm in marketing mode right now, so I'm also finding it hard to leave my editor's hat off while painting in the studio. But I'm inspired by how you are tackling your portfolio (which is already good) and sharing the journey. Can't wait to see more!

tiffannysketchbook said...

SADAMI, Oh it's so hard to rest when you are restless! I am already thinking of my next piece! :)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What nice things to say! You are getting a free signed copy, my friend. (If I ever get published!) You've been insanely great moral support these last few days. It would be the least I can do.

AMY - You are getting a bone-crushing hug at our next meeting. You better come wearing a full suit of armor.

Jez Tuya said...

Us illustrators tend to be self-deprecative often. It's only natural :) Sometimes, the best thing to do is just suck it up and let it go. This is a a really nice piece though. Your watercolor skills are amazing! Keep it up

Ted Blackman said...

Tiffanny, I visit your blog every day. I feed off that art passion of yours. It's contagious.

All of us artists worth their weight go through slumps and sleepless nights. Personally, I only feel great about my art after the last success, but when I miss the mark the self-doubt creeps in all over again. It's a never-ending cycle, but we keep improving as we go. There would be no stumbling blocks if we stayed in the same place artistically and didn't challenge ourselves.

Put that piece aside and start a new one when you get a chance. Consider all you've learned about yourself while working on it, the next one will be better.

I had a painting assignment in art school where the teacher gave us a month to paint a large canvas in class, mine was about 7 feet wide. We all labored over those paintings for a month, adding all kinds of details. At the end of the month the teacher told to us to paint out 90% of our canvases with black paint, just saving the best 10% part. You could hear the groans of agony all down the hall, but after we did that, everyones painting improved because of what we had learned in that month process, because we repainted the 90% even better than before.
The lesson learned was; don't be so close to your art to think that it's so precious that you cant do it all over again even better, because you always will be able to. -Ted

tiffannysketchbook said...

Ted - I normally can let go of bad or ok or kinda good pieces, but this one is different. This one is PORTFOLIO, not practice. The portfolio is the thing that puts a roof on your head and food on the table, Which makes me REALLY want it to be good. But Now I am moving on! The next one will be better! (I think!)

That painting story about the teacher... oh man! That's a tough love assignment there. But yes - lesson learned!!

coNs Oroza said...

Aw, I love your attitude. The illustration looks great. Maybe a bit less contrasted would look better, but I'm afraid it's all very subjetive, haha. Anyway, I'm sure you'll make a strong portfolio!