I must admit to being rather envious of people who can teach themselves a creative or technical skill just by watching YouTube videos. The sheer amount of online 'academies' out there now, make it seem like everyone is doing it. For the past few months I have trying to do just that with art and graphic design. I have to admit, however, that I have been struggling with distance learning in addition to having a job. It can be so joyless sometimes when you're not getting the results you want.
Adobe software is expensive and after fumbling around with a free trial and a Lynda.com account, I eventually capitulated and went for a classroom-based course instead. Now that I've gained confidence in class the tutorials on Lynda.com and SVS click so much more than they used to. All the Illustrators I admire are working digitally, or are using a mixture of traditional mediums and digital tools. It really is essential to get these skills, but don't do what I did and beat yourself up because you're not getting it straight away. Working with these programs is not as intuitive as everyone likes to pretend it is.
Using classroom based courses as well as online tutorials may not be the cheapest way of gaining technical skill but it is probably the quickest if you choose (and are lucky enough to have the time and money to do) intensive courses. If you have the chance to go on intensive accredited courses, I really recommend it. I had to swallow my pride and admit I wasn't progressing using just online tutorials. If you're going to do something; do it right.
I feel as though I've already failed on the first steps towards becoming an artist. Instead of genuinely trying to sell my works, I put the price up absurdly high and hoped no one would buy them too quickly. I then began looking for a place I could lovingly hang them until they went to their "forever homes." To put it mildly, I was too sentimentally attached to let go of them.
This piece is my favourite… It's perfect and you don't know how hard it was to get it that way!
The trouble with large works on canvas is that they're labour and cost intensive. They're hard to ship, they're hard to photograph without professional equipment and the small thumbnails on art sale sites never does them justice.
For my work in Islamic pattern, I think I'll stick to smaller works in pen, ink and paint. They're easier to scan and show off online that way. I want a lot of things but a hard life when it comes to art is not one of them!
I have recently signed up to the Society of Visual Storytelling. I found the site after viewing illustrator Will Terry's videos on YouTube. I can't recommend it enough. Drawing and painting are teachable skills, talent's got nothing to do with it up to a point.
Unfortunately, I'm based in the Middle East and my internet connection is positively third world so I can't watch the videos on subscription - I have to buy them outright and download them. The content of the site, however, is first rate. I highly recommend it.
On the left is a self-portrait from a while back and on the right is the self-portrait I did after viewing Dave Malan's portrait course on SVS a couple of months ago. As you can see, there's a massive improvement, although the measuring of my face at the forehead is not quite correct.
On the 6th-7th November I attended the wonderful Schoolism Live, Dubai conference. There were two stand-out moments for me.
The first (if not chronologically) was Nathan Fowkes' lecture on Colour Design. I really learn so much about how to use colour. It was remarkable.
The second was Bobby Chiu's lecture on his journey to becoming an artist. It was utterly inspirational. It genuinley reinvigorated my love for art and my love for art wasn't even uninvigorated.
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend; I'm so glad the Imaginism team came to Dubai.
The print on the left is one of Bobby Chiu's. The lovely landscape on the right is from Nathan Fowkes. I highly recommend their work - please do check out their respective sites.
Welcome to my new website! Isn't it slick and beautiful?
On this part of my site I will be describing my sketching notes and technical art processes. In addition, I will be sharing some of my thoughts on art and the art related events I go to.
When I get the chance, I will be travelling to art significant destinations. As you know, I adore Islamic art and the Alhambra in Spain is very high on my destination wish list.
Until then, adieu!