Starting from the beginning of this year, I gave myself a challenge to improve my drawing skills by drawing something on every single date page of my calendar. To keep myself in check, I posted each drawing to Instagram. The reasoning behind this is that I want to do elaborate embroideries on corsets, and in order to be able to stitch the images I want to, I have to be able to draw. Now I could do this through trial and error on corsets, but it would be slow and expensive. My aim here is to develop a skill and a style in as short amount of time as possible.
I have come quite a ways from my first pages. I love to show people these first pages when people tell me that I am a natural talent for this. No, actually, it is all about practice and persistence. Everything I’ve ever made is the result of all the pieces I’ve made before; through trial and error and just doing. Over and over and over. The first month was a real struggle. There were many days where I had to draw on three pages to catch up. It wasn’t very fun, and the drawings were way more loose and scribbly than I would have liked them to be. But I kept drawing, because each drawing led to the next where I could look at my mistakes from the previous day and fix them.
I also felt that it was important to show people the pages of my calendar as it fills up. You can see each page mostly in order compiled here on Flickr.
From a little ways in when I started to be able to people have been asking if these would ever be for sale, and the answer at first was no, because the birds are contained on the lined pages of my calendar along with my appointments, lists, client phone numbers, passcodes, quotes and bits about the weather.
Somewhere in May I started doing extra drawings. These drawings are now for sale. They are labeled as “Bonus Birds” on Instagram, and I put all I’ve done so far together in an album here. They are all black ink on white paper (the photos are low quality on purpose). If you are interested in any in particular they are $50. each: first come, first served. Send me an email with a link to the drawing you are interested in. I will be making more Bonus Birds so keep an eye out for them at least for the rest of the year. Please note that I update my Instagram in real time, and Flickr gets updated in chunks when I remember to do it.
So I made it half-way through the year; I’ve used up four entire pens. I will continue through the end of the year, and who knows what’s next or where this will lead? I may or may not do much else with these birds; I have no intention of a career change at the moment. But as long as I feel like doing the drawings, I will. I am kind of used to having a drawing on every passed page of my calendar; it pleases me.