Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"Thoughts About Art" in 2013

Happy New Year, one and all!

In my editing bay, I usually have my Gmail up and open on my computer all day. Thus, the easiest way for me to jot down a thought I want to remember is to do it in an email draft. (The fact that this has led to me having a highly disorganized and stuffed-to-bursting drafts folder is a topic for another post. Stay organized, kids.)

I've been keeping an email draft called "Thoughts About Art" for the past year. I skim through it from time to time to refresh my mind and remember what I need to work on. During one of my end-of-year perusals, I realized that, despite it being rather haphazard, it was all at least slightly intelligible to the average Joe.

Here, for your reading pleasure, is the unedited copy of that email draft, as it currently stands. I'm going to keep adding to it, so you can all look forward to Thoughts About Art Part 2 at the end of 2014.

Don't separate out your life into 'Work,' 'Fun,' 'People,' 'Art'. Live a more complete life - these are all parts of one whole life
Remember what's important. People are paramount. If you don't have fulfilling life experiences you won't have anything good to say in your drawings.

People connect with the IDEA BEHIND the art more than they care about the execution.

"the willingness to fail will get you farther than the will to be perfect ever does"
Release yourself from your self imposed deadlines. Take the time to learn to do it right the first time, and you will save yourself time in the long run.
The BIGGER PICTURE - when you draw you always concentrate on the figure or character that you're drawing. They fill up almost the entire frame. But YOUR CHARACTERS SHOULD BE PART OF A LARGER WORLD. Pascal Campion's drawings always tell a story - but they're almost always zoomed out so you can put the character in their environment, their place in time and space, which affects them. Keep the LITERAL big picture in mind.
Other people can't see the things in your brain. You have to draw them so other people can see them.
Keep it SIMPLE.
Really THINK about what you are trying to communicate.
Then figure out the SMALLEST NUMBER of lines/strokes to communicate that. Think EACH TIME you put pencil/pen/brush to paper.
Less is more. Give 100% to the things you DO have.
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude so it won't destroy your life.
Take a deep breath. You're in charge. Slow down. Really listen and observe. It can be done. Dragons can be beaten.
With every choice, something is gained and something is lost.
"Your responsibility is not to the people you're making the gift for... but to the gift itself."
Put instagram and blogger out of your mind. Do it for fun. Let your imagination free. Do what you want to do. The fun will shine through.
Be critical of your own work but STOP OVERTHINKING IT. Being mindful of the mistakes you're making is good for improvement moving forward, but too much criticism and negative thinking is hindering your progress. You're holding yourself back and getting in your own creative way. Analyze what you've done wrong and move on to the next thing. DO A HUGE VOLUME OF WORK. CLOSE THE GAP.

"For of all sad words from tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been." -John Greenleaf Whittier

"Whatever your dream is, it’s probably not going to come true if you just passively wait for it to arrive or if you just sit around and complain all day. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with the distance or the obstacles between you and your dream. Just focus on making progress. Any kind of progress is still progress. Engage your dream with sincerity, passion and take the next action right now. Ask for the job." - Chris Oatley
"The key is to make mistakes faster than the competition, so you have more chances to learn and win." - John W Holt Jr.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
-Mark Twain

2013 was a big year for me. I started out the year with a class on Perspective with Gary Meyer, took Landscape Painting with Leighton Hickman over the summer, and finished up the year with Analytical Figure Drawing with Kevin Chen, a fantastic teacher and class.

Last year my resolutions were:

People are paramount.
Do more with less.
Be a creator, not an absorber.

 This year my resolutions are: to improve upon the above, and also to:

Start over if you need to.
Stay positive.
Tell a story and the rest will follow.

Also this, which doubles as an explanation for why the blog has been so neglected lately:

© Gina Florio 2013


  1. Hi Gina, I just found your blog... and it's awesome!
    Thanks for sharing all the links and bits of wisdom you find. I try to keep an updated page of art resources and links: I'm always looking for more art podcasts and interviews to listen to while drawing. Anyways, just wanted to say thanks and keep posting :)

    1. Lane, I realize this is an extremely belated response, but thank you so much for your kind comment! Your work is truly incredible and I'm humbled that you could take any inspiration from this little old blog o' ramblings. And thanks SO much for sharing your art resources page, I am completely in awe of how comprehensive it is! I'm sure I will be making great use of it!