Back to the Drawing Board

This past week has been a bit of a struggle for me in terms of staying positive, which is something I constantly strive to do. I am very happy to say that making time to be mindful and using my new Passion Planner to keep myself on task by prioritizing has significantly decreased my anxiety.

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This Passion Planner has a bunch of features that I won’t go in-depth of in this post but they have:

  • a monthly spread that I use to write a positive thing that has happened to me every day,
  • a place to write what your focus is for the month and for each week,
  • a Not To-Do List which helps remind me to not fall into bad habits in a positive manner,
  • a roadmap to break down my goals into manageable steps which I can assign to days in order to get the most out of my time,
  • and a monthly reflection spread that will help me analyze what habits and patterns worked and how to improve for the continuing months ahead.

One of my goals this week was to have sketches done for my Persona 5 vector fan art. Unfortunately, I focus too much time on a single sketch because I try to make it absolutely perfect and a work of art in it’s own right. I will spend over 5 minutes trying to erase and redraw a single area, which is incredibly inefficient and frustrating. Thankfully, I have decided on a method to rid myself of my “make sketches perfect” mentality: sketch in fountain pen, no pencils allowed!

I collect and use fountain pens for pretty much all of my writing needs (planning, journaling, writing letters to penpals, etc.) so it is highly likely that I always have one on me.

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Any lines I draw with them I cannot erase, so if I don’t like something, I learn to be more careful and it reinforces the fact that sketches aren’t final works of art and don’t need to be perfect. I did a 15 minute sketch using a reference image from Pixabay that I am honestly both embarrassed and proud of.

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For those of you who like knowing what materials an artist uses (I am one such person) here is the list:

  • Sketchbook: Stillman & Birn softcover Zeta sketchbook in a 3.5″ x 5.5″ size. The smooth, plate finish of the paper makes it ideal for pen and ink and the 270 gsm thickness means it is also perfect for watercolors.
  • Fountain pen: TWSBI Vac Mini Clear with an Extra Fine nib.
  • Ink: J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir

While there are a lot of glaring mistakes in my sketch (oh the ANATOMY!!!!), I found that working on this sketch was incredibly liberating. Honestly I think the time limit also helped, so I think I will try and impose more time limits on myself for sketching as well.

Shortly after this, I was struck by inspiration for my Persona 5 fan art. When they first announced Persona 5, Atlus showed images of chairs with a ball and chain around one of the legs. The image was very powerful because the concept for the game was “You are a slave. Want emancipation?” Since then, the chairs haven’t really been present in marketing or in the game itself, so I want to do a series of the Phantom Thieves in chairs with the ball and chain around their ankle. I want to try to capture each character’s personality in their post so I’m also using references from the way they sit in the game. Of course, I decided to make this more challenging by choosing to draw them in their Phantom Thieves outfits simply because they’d be more fun to draw.

I managed to do sketches with my fountain pen of Joker and Mona, 15 minutes each.

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They are super sketchy, but I already started a more detailed sketch in Clip Studio Paint of Joker.

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I’m in a much better place now than I was earlier this week, which I consider a pretty big win. I’m greatly looking forward to working on some fan art since it’s been a long time since I’ve worked on some.

Let me know what you’re currently working on in the comments or what you do for a planner, and I’ll see you all soon in my next blog post!

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