|Some sorta alien~|
The drawing above was the very first piece I created for my goal. Interestingly, even though it's only a year old, I feel my skill has markedly exceeded where I was when this was drawn. Even my sketches feel 'better' than just 365 days ago. I'm sure that pushing myself so hard with this goal is a big part of my improvement, even though I didn't particularly try to improve when drawing for this goal (the point of it was simply to encourage creation and exercise, rather than to actively critique and correct myself).
|"Chibi Shibi Ranger"|
This cute Shiba Inu drawing was also made fairly early in the year, maybe still in January. It's one of many pieces for which I used a reference image (specifically, a photo of a Shiba Inu that was on a sticky note holder that my Beau gave to me the previous Christmas). Over the course of the year, I began to realize the true usefulness of referencing visual elements. There's a weird stigma against such practice in some circles, usually newer artists, "I drew this whole thing without reference!" which is actually unhelpful in the long run. It encourages people to forgo useful research and eventually leads to discouragement. After all, how can one "draw from imagination" if their mind hasn't been properly seeded and fertilized with reality?
|I chose this pose because they're forming a heart shape.|
This drawing actually became one of my favorite pieces of 2014. It's a mixed physical media piece the likes of which I had never attempted before that year (it was the second of its kind I created that summer, the first being much more ambitious and grand) and I am still, to this day, pleased with the final result. To the point pictured above, I used a combination of reference images and my own imagining. The outfits were referenced, but were modified to my own liking and drawn on figures whose poses were referenced from a completely different image. The hair, faces, and unhuman anatomy were all my own design. Yes, even at this early stage in the work (I continued with marker, colored pencil, paint, and collage) I think this drawing is one of my best of the year.
Now we're getting much farther into the year, October. I participated in a HabitRPG challenge called Drawlloween (which I happened to win!) that was great for ensuring I met my weekly inked drawing goal because it required a drawing every day. I actually had to pick-and-choose which drawings to count towards my weekly goal (it felt like cheating to pick enough drawings to finish the year two months early). Of all the Drawlloween pieces that I counted as weekly inked drawings, these two were my top favorites, probably because they're both chibis~
|This was so difficult to ink!|
After October and Halloween came November and Thanksgiving. I also participated in a self-set daily drawing challenge that month but when compared to my first ever Thanksgiving card illustration, none of those drawings seemed worth featuring. I've already written about the full illustration here, but the inked drawing prior to coloring is still impressive, if I do say so myself. Compared to anything I've ever created, this piece tops the list for detail and dedication. I'm still very proud of it.
|I'm always calling "Beary~!" and he usually ignores me.|
|This was drawn on Christmas Eve~☆|
Once December rolled around, I started to become overwhelmed with projects, tasks, and duties. I'm still playing catch-up even now. Somehow, probably largely thanks to the good art habits I developed and maintained over the course of the year, I still managed to create art. I drew something almost every day, even when I was traveling! These last two drawings were created using some ArtSnacks that came in the 2014 Studio Collection, a combination of ink and marker.
There are plenty more drawings that were created for this art goal. You can check out the full gallery here. It feels extremely satisfying to have achieved something that inevitably took a year to complete. It was not only an exercise of my art skills, it was an exercise of patience and perseverance. My art goals are different this year, but they still have the same aim: to keep my skills honed and my mind habitually creative!