A New Year

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Its the beginning of a new year and I’m looking forward to making it a productive one.  In my last blog entry I talked about having a battle with a lack of creativity.  I’ve been doing some personal introspection regarding that and making some progress.  I’m also currently working an a serious post about our motivations as creative people and the importance of finding and understanding what truly motvates us.

Meanwhile I’ve been busy learning to use a new graphic tablet.  If you’ve never used one, learning to draw on a tablet while looking at a computer screen is deceptively challenging.  Add to that the tablet is much smaller than my large monitor and I also have to get used to small hand motions making larger shapes on the screen.  It will be awhile yet before I’m able to produce anything I’d care to share.  My first artistic goal will be to learn to use the table to draw B&W line art.  Once I am able to do that its just a small step beyond to add color using cel shading techniques.  That would allow me to do comic illustrations, graphic novels, and a variety of other illustrations as well as doing concept art for my 3D projects.

TIP – If you’re trying to learn to use a graphic tablet and finding it difficult to develop the basic motor skills, give this a try.  Using whatever graphics software you prefer create a blank image file to draw in with a white background.  On a transparent layer use your line tool to create some lines like those in a child’s grammar book.  Create a 2nd transparent layer over that and then begin practicing your letters just like back in grammar school.  Start with print letters and later move to cursive.  Just as those old exercises help a child develop the hand – eye coordination necessary for handwriting, the same kind of exercises can help you develop the motor skills needed to use a graphic tablet.

I’ve also been brushing up on my creative writing skills.  Its been years since I did any serious creative writing and I’m really feeling the rust.  But as I write some short fiction (which is never going to see the light of day LOL) I’m remembering the skills.  Developing my characters, outlining my plots, creating timelines, editing 2nd drafts and all the other things that help refine a story into something better and improve the overall quality.  My grammar still needs work, I admit it.

On the upside I’m slowly winning my battle with creative block and I’m looking forward to using this year to fill my gallery with art, add some new fiction and learn a lot of new skills.

I hope anyone reading this finds the year ahead just as productive in their own pursuits.

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