Merry Christmas! I hope you're having a great holiday break and spending some time to recharge your batteries to hit the ground running in 2022!
This week I’ve been reading some books around learning how to learn and building habits (can’t get enough of them!) as well as stumbling upon some art resource gems!
The books this week are not specifically about art, but more mindset style books, so feel free to skip if you're only here for art specific musings and resources (although I personally feel like these topics directly affect my art and learning).
So lets get stuck into your weekly dose of my top resources, thoughts, 'aha moments' and announcements directly from my brain to yours from this past week.
- What I've been reading this week
Art Adjacent (mindset)...
Discipline equals freedom - Jocko Wilink
This is a great one for just brute forcing your willpower. I highly recommend it if you need a little bit of navy seal motivation to finally get started doing that thing you’ve been putting off; an art habit maybe? (although this initial motivation will only get you so far)
It's a simple, no nonsense approach to being more disciplined in your life. Although I think there's more effective/science backed ways I personally like to create habits, there's always a time and place to brute force it and just do the damn thing (or stop doing the damn thing).
One great take away was to be wary of the 'small' slip ups like "I'll go to the gym tomorrow" or "I'll do some drawing study tomorrow", although there are often legitimate reasons that you might have to switch up your routine, these can quickly become habit breakers.
This is something I'm keeping a close eye on in my life and it really aligns with my mantra of 'Stay consistent' at the end of each newsletter and instagram post.
How to be better at almost anything - Pat Flynn
This is one that I’ve just started listening to, and it’s main premise is that being a generalist is more advantageous than being a specialist.
This concept really interested me, because I consider myself more of a generalist, and was interesting to hear Pat’s perspective.
One stand out idea is about ‘Skill Stacking’… the idea being that it’s not enough to just have a bunch of different random skills to be an effective generalist, you have to learn to combine them to create something others want/get use out of.
When thinking about it, I started to see this generalist mentality in myself with skills I've picked up over the years and how they've contributed to building a bit of a following online like...
- Drawing and painting (something I just thouroughly enjoy getting better at)
- Graphic design (allows me to understand how to show visually appealing graphics, like instagram posts)
- Video editing and animation (allows me to make video social posts + youtube videos)
- Communication and writing (something I'm still very new at but am getting better by doing things like this email!)
- Coding and Development (building my blog/website that'll have very specific features that you can't get on any template builder site. I just love to code as well)
- Speaking to camera (going to come in handy with video tutorials)
- Marketing & Business (will come in handy when trying to build products around my content)
You can begin to see how 'stacking' certain skills together around a specific topic could be considered advantageous. And at the very least, gives you room to experiment.
I’ve only just started this book, but I’ve been a fan of Pat and his blog ‘Smart passive income’ since way back when I started becoming interested in business 10 + years ago.
Looking forward to diving deeper into this one.
- Videos/ Resources
A great new video around drawing the skull (something I LOVE to do!)
One thing I got from the video is the mental modal to think about drawing the upper jaw/teeth cylynder like the front part of a train (the cow catcher), you'll know what I mean when he explains it!
He also goes into how angular lines are often times better than curved ones because you can easily see the angles and measure angled lines (I like a bit of both, but get where he's coming from for sure).
Drawing the hand - Hyun Jin Kim (Superani)
One of the best explanations of drawing the hand I've seen. It's in Korean and uses subtitles, but it's a hidden gem that explains the planes of the hand differently than I've seen elsewhere!
Do yourself a favour and grab your sketching tool of choice, a few hand references, a cup of tea, chuck this on and have a blast!
- Thoughts and musings of the week
Being present when studying art
I often times find myself drifting off into random thoughts while drawing and painting, but recently I've been really concentrating on being present when studying.
Really thinking about the next mark I'm going to make, and is it going to add to the piece, or subtract from it?
Yes this is mentally taxing, but I feel I'm gaining a lot more from it than mindlessly noodling about (although there’s a time and a place for that too )
Squeezing the knowledge out from time-lapses
Im finding that on Instagram especially, that I'm learning a lot from observing others time-lapses.
Although sped up, if you know what to look for, you can really get a good idea about the artists process.
When looking at a time-lapse I try and ask myself things like...
- How many times do they do the initial sketch? (it's also interesting to see how 'unlike' the final the initial sketch is!)
- Do they go straight into colour? Or do they start with black and white?
- Do they lay in the shadows first or tackle the lights?
- Do they seem to have a grasp on the direction of the light initially? Or do they kind of change it as they go?
Asking questions like these are super helpful to reverse engineering someone's process so you can try those things out for yourself (although this would never replace proper instruction, you've sometimes got to be scrappy and squeeze the knowledge out wherever you can!)
And that's all from me this week!
And as always, stay consistent, use reference, have fun with it and remember; it's only pixels baybee!
I'll be seeing you in the next one.
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