An introduction and reasons for my ramblings

I’m Carly, a self employed artist. It’s still kind of surreal to hear myself say that. I didn’t consider illustration to be a real life option until just a few years ago. But that’s a story for another day. I apologize in advance for the meandering nature of my writing. My excuse is that I’m out of practice and I’m sticking to it.

The primary focus of this blog will be art. I’ll be sharing my thoughts, process, experiments, and research. I’ll also be doing in-depth breakdowns of the basics such as value structure, composition, perspective, and anatomy. There are other topics that I’ll be taking a look at through the lens of a self-employed artist such as health, creativity, habits, productivity, and business. Because there is so much great research and writing on these already, expect lots of citations and links to other sources. Also, that way you’ll know that I’m not completely talking out my ass.

That takes care of the “what” of this blog. Now I’d like to go further into the “why”. Feel free to stop here if you don’t want to hear a small chunk of my life story.

I miss academia. I miss writing

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still learning new things almost every single day. But I was a good student. My brain fit the structure of our education system. I know not everyone’s does. I was fortunate to test well and hold onto random bits of trivia with relative ease. This led me to believe life would be easy and that I could do anything.

Of course, life isn’t easy, and there are things I will never accomplish in this lifetime. Those days of being given clear directions and tasks and then accomplishing them despite fuck tons of procrastination were much easier than trying to navigate my own way these last few years. Probably part of why I miss it.

It’s funny to think that even though I would always procrastinate writing my essays, I still got good grades on them. I remember one comment from a botany teacher in college on a review article I had written, “Very well written. I hope you take a career in science.”

I didn’t take a career in science, but I agree with her often made point; we need articulate and well written work on all subjects.

Scientists can be brilliant researchers and terrible writers. If they aren’t good writers it’s harder to communicate their discoveries. I think the same can be said about artists. So many artists are insanely brilliant visually, then struggle to articulate the thought process behind the work they create. That articulation is a necessary step towards sharing our ideas with our fellow humans, especially if we want to share our knowledge with the next generation.

I’m not trying to toot my own horn. I’ve spent the years since graduation absorbing as much information as possible about my chosen field–illustration–but have struggled to process and implement all the great knowledge I’ve come across. Which means this blog is ultimately for me.

It’s my way to create a record of the information I collect from both outside sources and my own experimentation and failures. It’s a way for me to process what I’m learning and then (hopefully) better apply that learning to my work and my life.

I’m okay with my selfish motivations. Even the most altruistic actions have ultimately selfish origins. We do our best work when we want to do it, rather than because it’s expected of us.

Of course, I could accomplish those personal goals just by writing. No need to share it. Keep it secret. Keep it safe. Why put it up on the internet for the trolls to tear apart?

It is my deepest hope that I can be a resource to you the way so many other people have been an invaluable resource to me. Maybe my own explorations and mistakes can help you learn something; save you a bit of time, and ease some of the struggles of your own life’s journey.

I won’t pretend to have all the answers. I sure as shit don’t. And I won’t pretend to be the best writer. The praises I got in my school days gave me a strange handicap. I’m afraid of failure, and therefore afraid of trying in the first place.

But that’s a whole topic for another day.

My writing skills are beyond rusty and I know there are innumerable people out there that are more articulate, concise, and funny in their writings than I am. I’ll share some of their work. All that said, I’d like to share my experiences with you, and I hope you’ll share yours with me.

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