All for One?

I’m almost done.  My casual winter wardrobe is set aside, and I’m reviewing a few other items that I haven’t worn for a while.  The rest will have to wait until spring beckons.

Focusing in on just one project isn’t such a bad idea.  I see that now.  Picking a wardrobe category and giving it my full attention has helped me get close to this particular finish line.  But I’m not sure whether I could approach my creative work in the same way.

  • How do I balance building my technical skills with the joy of exploring an illustration or design project?
  • What if I get stuck?
  • How do I make the smooth transition from one finished project to a brand new one?

Seeing how my wardrobe has benefited from my (almost) undivided attention, I’m sure my sketchbook would appreciate some quality time with me, too.

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As I siphoned off a capsule collection of warm clothes this week for my chilly weather wardrobe (brrr), I wondered whether minimising my choices would improve my focus and save me time.

If so, would this strategy work elsewhere, too?

At the moment I do little bits here and there, but it’s not enough.  I wonder how to gain focus, keep on top of everything, reduce the time I spend on routine stuff, make my creative work count, and do much more of it so progress happens in hours instead of weeks.  And a question keeps popping into my head:

…what’s the minimum you’ll accept, the minimum you’ll be happy with?

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Toile Tomorrow

As I (attempt to) squeeze even more freshly-pressed garments into my already full wardrobe, I’m reminded of my resolution to end the year with less than I started it with. With only December left to go I’m thinking of the plans I had for 2017, and the many distractions that got in my way.

However, there’s still December left, that’s 31 days to get a head start on a New Year Resolution, or just to start something to celebrate at the end of the year.  For me, it’s a wardrobe review and watercolour play.

With a noticeable difference between each season here in the UK, I like the idea of building a unique wardrobe for each one.  So, my idea is to start with a basic template which I can alter to reflect the person I want to be.

Today I also restarted my daily drawing habit.  I’m taking a methodical approach to watercolour so when I know the basics I can alter it to fit.

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Fail to Plan…

Only a week has passed and I haven’t drawn a thing.

Last week I was a beginner again, considering my next creative stride.  However, a few unexpected distractions meant my focus since then has been elsewhere.  Yep, my daily drawing habit is currently on hold (grrr!).  At the moment I’m resisting regret because: 1). tasks can take longer than planned; and 2). unexpected opportunities don’t hang around for long.  Are these genuine reasons or practiced excuses?  Perhaps I’m just in limbo between the end of one project and the start of another.  Haven’t we been here before?

So, rather than grabbing one of my pencils to doodle just for the sake of it (although it’s still an option), I’ll figure out whether the problem was with the planner (me) rather than the plan (my To Do List).

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Do You Mind?

Watercolour studies

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

Shunryu Suzuki in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

With a newfound confidence I don’t recognise in myself, I’m thrilled to be a beginner again.  Impatient as I am, I think I should dive deeper into the dark and dirty world of charcoal, although I have the taste for colour.  I want to explore ideas, practice techniques and push boundaries before my developing knowledge, skills and mind-set prevent me from doing so.  Just as I did in these early watercolour studies before I knew any better.

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