Following last weeks post, a friend of mine surprised/shocked me by setting up a spreadshirt-shop for me and then forcing/encouraging me into uploading artworks. I’ll make a habit out of uploading my weekly illustrations to the shop, at least if it makes a somewhat decent design for that purpose.
Go to https://smilesandgiggles.myspreadshop.net/ if you want to buy a piece of clothing with an illustration from me on it. Spreadshirt is a german print-service, so if they ship internationally then I guess it will not be cheap.
It’s been a rough week or two. The image text is a bit deceptive though, I’ve been struggling not so much with doing something new but rather with falling back into bad habits. I let other people’s agendas, perceptions, and perspectives cloud my own mind.
I want to see if I can build something of my own. Create art that makes people smile and makes the world a little bit of a friendlier place, even if just for a few minutes. And earn a living with it. But what happened slowly since I left KARAKTER and more so in the past two weeks since I ended my “take it easy -vacation period” is that I let other people tell me that I won’t be able to earn money with my own art, that thus I should do something different. >> Oh it’s nice art, but I would never pay for that. <<, >>There’s no money in making people happy. … <<. That I’m such a good freelance artist, why would I not want to join their project? There’s a team that needs art direction, why not take it over since I obviously don’t have anything better lined up? I should do monsters, I should do character skins, do Riot-style, do mobile, women 50+ target audience, serious cute realism stylized military casual ….. Because I can do all of those things, other people want me to do those things and thus I should do them.
Which led to me doing “preemptive commissioned” portfolio work. Every morning I got up with the goal of creating another artwork that would catch attention and get me commission work. I was working feverishly, manically. I was doing work for unknown internet people that I had no interest in myself and I wasn’t even getting paid for it. I tunnel-visioned towards “You’re only worth something if the next artwork you do is something cool that other artists and game companies will like”. Read that again. “You’re only worth something if … other (people) will like”. I’m so thankful that through therapy, personal training, coaching, and a lot of work on my part I have learned to catch myself before slipping too far down this spiral. Those steps down are so familiar though, I walked this path so often, so many times. That dark place is still far easier to get to and feel at home than to believe in me and let myself feel happy.
I need to find a way to keep my own ideas in focus, to not let myself be distracted by other people so easily. Maybe physical whiteboards or something.
Coincidentally, it’s suicide prevention week in the USA. As good a time as any to reach out to the people around you and ask how they’re doing.
On Monday I challenged myself with another random drawing exercise. I created a list of various attributes, gave each item a number, then went online to rolladie.net to randomly select two items out of the list, and ended up with the following two attributes: Brawl Stars | Tiefling Brawl Stars refers to the hit mobile game “Brawl Stars” from Supercell, Tiefling refers to a race from Dungeons & Dragons.
I decided to draw a Tiefling character that stylistically, complexity-wise might fit into the game Brawl Stars. I went to donjon.bin.sh to create a set of random Tiefling character descriptions, picked one from which I took the name and some other features, and then got drawing.
On Monday evening I saw someone post title card sketches on Instagram, which then led me to do this drawing on Tuesday.
This is the result of a random character design prompt. Brain + Lizard = Braizard. My first thoughts went towards brain-eating zombie lizards, but I didn’t feel that so I went with something “cute” instead.
I’m a big fan of old Hanna Barbera and Warner Bros Animation art. While drawing I have all sorts of art from Flintstones/Jetsons/YogiBear/Tweety/MarvinTheMartian/… in rotation on my secondary monitor. It’s both motivating and disheartening to have those artworks open, these artists were so damned good! Today I drew my own cartoon character in the spirit of these old cartoons and mocked up my own model sheet for it.
I am excited, hopeful, fearful, anxious, energetic, motivated to start freelancing again on August 1st. I will take some time to adjust, it has been almost 4 years of working solely with/for KARAKTER after all. I will take one step after another to see where this change leads me. I put up a website (link above or bagatzky.de ), though there is nothing new on there since I can’t show any of the work I was involved in with KARAKTER yet. I started exercising my draftsmanship again which I put up here in the past few days already. While I have projects ideas to explore, I will start small with individual images first. One step after another.