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What skill do you wish you had, either as a hobby or career builder?
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If I could update or gain a greater ability in any avenue adjacent to my writing it would be my ability as a visual artist. Honestly, if I just gave myself more time and took more courses, I know I could improve these skills to the point of viability. Alas, time is just not on my side. There is so much to do and so few hours in my day in which to get through the list.
I’m currently an alright kind of artist. I manage. Sometimes, I really impress myself with the work I put out. Still, there is always room for improvement and, I feel, a lot of room in that area. My drawings and other art pieces, for instance, aren’t in the style and don’t have the guaranteed quality that I need for the things that I write. This incongruence creates a rift, especially in the area of marketing. While I have an eye for design, the execution isn’t up to par.
Classes for art are very expensive. The supplies alone make taking them prohibitive at this point in my career. Perhaps, when I retire (and dear daughter is older), the money required will exist along with the time needed. No doubt, her absence will create a need to fill up my days with creative projects once again. For now, being creative at the mom job checks all the boxes.
What type or style of art do I think I might enjoy improving my skill set in?
I’d love to become a better drawing artist. I think that covers the things I think about the most in terms of need in regards to my work. This form of art, especially in the digital realm, would suit any of my books quite well. The book series stands to benefit greatly from art built up around it.
In the meantime, I have dabbled with artificial intelligence apps to see the possibilities. I do not make money off the art created, as that strikes me as a bit dishonest. After all, the AI uses other artist’s works to inform it’s own. While that is in fact what we all do through learning in classes, direct mimicry is questionable. However, the apps do help me think about what style I should be considering. That would help me narrow the search for classes and tutorials to improve the skills I already have.
I’ve painted on digital platforms as well as with physical mediums. The forgiving nature of the digital platform is my preference. The ability to correct mistakes quickly and cleanly is the greatest bonus I can imagine. Next to this, I’d say the layers function is the most useful feature. If I could treat painting a canvas more like building a collage, that would make thinking about the layers a lot easier. However, there is no such thing. My brain struggles to plan this way with physical paintings.
Utilizing the digital interface goes a long way to teaching about the planning of art pieces and how to unpack the stages of a work. Much like writing–there are words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and so on. You start with the smallest of brush strokes, choosing the tones at each touch to the paper. A paragraph builds similarly. Each words works toward creating that picture. They don’t stand alone, although, they can be examined this way.
While the medium of writing holds commonalities with the visual arts, right down to framing, the two are not executed so similarly. Switching between them is harder than it looks. In addition, I’ve flexed my visual art muscles a lot less than my writing ones. At least, I haven’t employed them to the extremes I have in writing and I haven’t studied them so extensively as I have writing.
Visual art came into practice for me at a young age. Yet, I still find it strange, when reflecting on this point, that I am not stronger at these arts. For some reason, the ability to get the image in my head to render on paper or even the screen is difficult. What I imagine is more easily put in words than a picture. There is no lack of desire to create.
If I could remove whatever block keeps me from improving my visual art, I’d certainly lean on that as my next steps–even if I know what I need is to have those influencer skills! I simply love art.
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