Monday, September 10, 2012

Frustration

I am feeling discouraged. The move from traditional to digital has been more or less smooth, but I find myself constantly shifting: looking aimlessly through the web, standing up with no real purpose and sitting back down, feeling like there is something else I can do. It is like some weird art depression, where I feel stymied by the lack of a tangible piece of work. I come up with ideas and toss them or change them or fail to act on them at all. I look at all the amazing work being done out there, by random strangers and former classmates, and sometimes I think: I can do that. Other times I stare in dumb amazement and wish the idea came to me first. In between commissions I tried doing a quick promotional piece. I went from werewolves to vampires to dragons until I just started working. I just had to do something. And the sad part is, I still don't know what the hell it is I am making. Here she is, in all her unfinished glory:
If I could tell you what it was I was trying to achieve, trust me, I would. I'm shooting in the dark, even as I stare at the illuminated far wall, targets and all. I want desperately to finish this piece, and yet I'm stuck with an image that I have no idea where it is going. None. It is a polished piece of gravel. Pretty and useless. Hell, it isn't even polished yet. I can't design myself out of a sock. I want to produce work freelance. And I know I have the skills. Give me a face, and I'll paint the bajezus out of it. But some idiot inside of me keeps whispering when I work on personal projects. 'No, David,' He says, 'It needs to be more epic.' 'No, it needs to tell more story.' 'Less story' 'Show your strengths' 'Try something new' 'Be original.' That last piece of poison, yes, that kills me. Look at the painting I just posted. Can you tell it started as a werewolf concept? Can you tell who I looked at for a color palette? Would you believe Jon Foster? Would you believe that my inner idiot keeps telling me to stop making it look too Fostery? That idiot is there every time I try a werewolf piece, telling me to make the werewolf different. 'Make something a publisher has never seen before.' But I know just as well. They're werewolves. They are relegated to a specific time of day on a specific time of the month and they are wolf men. How will I ever produce something they haven't seen? And so instead of just trying to paint a badass werewolf painting, like I know I can do, the idiot inside tells me that unless I can produce an original werewolf piece, then I shouldn't do one. And then we have this mess. A girl and her giant pet lizard. Which isn't sci-fi, or really fantasy, and certainly not a f*cking werewolf. This tells me one thing. That idiot I blame for my failures? That idiot is me.
There's a werewolf.

1 comment:

Jason C. said...

Ha, sometimes it's good to vent. I definitely feel you in that regard sometimes. All i know is that it is going to take time, but keep at it.

When that something comes along it will be well worth the wait. Until then, tell your inner person to shut the hell up and leave you alone so you can work. That's what I have to do sometimes ^_^.

Motivation sometimes slips through the fingertips like sand too fine to feel.