Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wonders and Blunders


______Drawing.  Illustrating.  Art.

______What I have yearned to do my entire life, what I knew I wanted to pursue since I could put a crayon to paper, and yet almost all the time, my mind is plagued with one thought about it: was it meant to be?  I still can't classify myself as an artist; I feel that's too kind of a term for my skill set.  Am I even creative enough to be an artist?  Should art just be a side thing, a "fun thing" that people know me by?

______Will I ever be able to reach that checkpoint of artsy awesomeness?


______It's my fault, I know.  I should draw more.  I should try new things.  I should get better!  I see all these rad artists around me, ages and occupations varying like the nuances of pink in the sky as it sets, and their skills both frighten and propel me: some are middle school art prodigies who paint swirling landscapes in a few brushstrokes, some are straight out of college and have already secured rad art jobs, and others are artists who are known in their area and teach in the comfort of a university with a close-knit art department.  I just wish I could share a level of their talent and artsy knowledge.

Well2Well2 Detail

______There's doubt lurking in my mind that I wasn't cut out for art.  And it comes and goes every now and then, like ominous storm clouds, and somehow hasn't sucked me down into the core of the earth yet.  I'm all right, I'll give myself that.  But I'm definitely nothing spectacular.  Sure, to people who aren't an art major, or not the most creative, even a doodle of a turd with a little fly rising from it will cause them to gasp in awe.  But to me, even what I'd call my loveliest works don't seem to be satisfactory enough.

Well3Well3 DetailWell3 Detail

______With that in mind, I've been intimidated (in a totally good way) into illustrating a little story that I'm nearly done editing.  These drawings began as a whisper of scribbly lines on my biology notes and were quick to develop into something more defined in my sketchbook.  With my story plastered in my brain, I got to it and finally sketched out and inked these bad boys.  The lines are already being filled with color as you read this!  The characters and locations are mine, and I was pleased to note that as drawings, they match the writing and what was in my head.

______So here's the result of the past two or so weeks of my brain sobbing over how "meh okay decent" of an... artist... I am.  I must improve and I must try new things and I will!  That's what I'm going to work at the remainder of the summer and with my art classes next semester.  And uh, being more positive and junk.  YERG.

______Viking screeeeeech!


______And a color update: Pretty happy with the first three, but the last one gave me fits; though I do understand that it should be much less bright and much more murky in lieu of the story!

Well3Well3DWell1 Colored
Well1Well4 ColoredWell4 Colored Detail

The Bottom of the Well WIP storyboard panels, ink + copic markers, Summer 2013


LyddieGal said...

I know exactly how you feel Ali, and it is the reason I went to the Art Institute of Boston for one year and then never went back.

I know it's impossible for you to see or believe yourself, but you are talented. You are creative. You got accepted to this school for a reason.

Try not to lets doubts get you down or stop you from being amazing.
You are.

Taylor said...

Sorry if I never comment, Sapph/Ali - I always read your blog posts! I love illustration, too, and while I think that I am going to pursue a different art-related career, if it is your passion definitely do not give up on your dream. You are exceptionally talented and will go far if you put in the work!

That being said, I love these pictures and can't wait to see them colored. : )


fhenny said...

amazing illustration! you are so talented. don't give up on your dream

style frontier

mochaccinoland said...

i feel u are really talented. being a perfectionist works both ways; it makes one strives to be better, but it also makes one miserable at times as nothing can ever meet his or her high benchmark. love these illustrations!


Marlen said...

HAHAHA "viking screeeeech!", oh my god. LOLed so hard. and you and linda are on the same wave lengths today! Ali you're an AMAZEBALLS artist- this is incredible! yes keep pursuing it, and dont let yourself get you down.

i'm trying to be a writer and i always love coming across quotes that are all like "artists have a life full of the deepest frustration blah blah" because creating something really is maddening. mainly because we always think we're crap, and worse, what if we think we're good and actually ARE crap. that doubt be cripplin'.

im pretty sure that's why most creatives are alcoholics...

xo Marlen
Messages on a Napkin

casper+pearl said...

in love with this post, and your whole entire blog in general.

lots of love from the casper&pearl girls – a little Aussie fashion brand
casper&pearl blog

Linda B said...

I definitely relate to not feeling good enough. Gosh, that's why I was so scared to even seriously consider changing my major. There are SO many more talented artists than I (and uh, yeah, you're included in that list honey), but I just love it. To be a part of that world is making me excited.
Hey, at least we'll always have our backup plan of sharing a box castle and Dyson & Emerson for companions. ;)
Haha, don't worry, with your gift of illustrating, I'm sure we won't have to rely on that.

The Dragonfruit Diaries

Tere Ávila said...

great post honey, amazing photoo!


Sam said...

Hi dearest Ali, I may not know much about art itself but from my experiences here on your blog and the illustrations I have seen from you, all i can say is that you truly are an Artist. Not anybody can just pick up a pen or paintbrush to paper and turn it into something magic. And you do that. I wish I could illustrate as well as you do, its not something that everyone has. Its a gift, which you have been blessed with. I am in awe of these amazing fairytale drawings you have showcased today. If I ever get my children's books published, i will most certainly ask you to be the illustrator. You are an incredible talent and you are on the right part. Ive always wondered how creativity is measured. I've learnt that creativity is what we each personally deem it to be. Sorry for the long comment, I just had to commend you and reassure you that you are a fantastic artist, don't ever doubt that. P.S Would love to see the pinky-blue nail shade in your next post :)

Jacqueline said...

oh man oh man, i know how you feel about drawing, i feel like a 1 trick pony with art, and had to force myself to collaborate with my friend on a project so i wouldn't just draw girls with trippy hair... but trust me, your pics are awesome, you are certainly talented! xoxox

Keit said...

I think everybody starts doubting themselves once in a while. Especially in the art department, because it's a skill difficult to master. I read an article that if you want to be an EXPERT in something (including art) you have to do it for 10 years at least. That's when the brains starts improving not in the "meh" department, but in the "wow, I'm the best" department :D

I think we go through the experience you described very often. You hit a wall in your development, when you start thinking you're not doing anything right and don't know what the hell is happening. You did so well in the beginning and now you're stuck. It happened to me when I tried learning a new language, it's all fun and games, but later you just stop improving. And if you manage to break through that wall, you're one step closer to the expert level :P
You do what you love to do, and everything will fall right into its place :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear! You are very talented. Great ilustrations! Kisses!

visit my facebook page:

Francesca said...

Ali, you ARE very talented. You are definitely a very awesome, unique artist! Those illustrations were amazing, they really tell a story so well also.

I do understand, sometimes when you are very into something, you start doubting yourself, and feeling like you should be better. But then you have to remember that you are amazing and unique and no one out there can draw what you do! :)


Alexandra Zakharova said...

To my mind, to be an artist it's not only about drawing perfectly well. I believe, that being an artist means that you create some new ideas, make your inner impressions visible, sense the world around as a huge source of inspiration and "muse on nature with a poet's eye". You've done a great job, those illustrations look unusual and simply wonderful! Keep on creating, dear Ali!
Thanks for sharing such a nice post!


Sophie said...

Oh darling, don't ever sob over wondering if you are a good enough artist or not.... you ARE an artist.

You have to remember things;
Everyone has different drawing techniques, just like everyone has different handwritings. Everyone has different perspectives too.

Art doesn't have to be seen in a clear cut perfect way. Ask any of the famous artists. You just sit down and do what you do without dwelling on perfect lines, or perfect pictures or having it even come out how you pictured in your ehad.

Just sit down and create and don't finish it until you're happy with it. But the other key to that, is you have to be happy with it at some point. Ok? I mean you can't just keep going and going because you are hard on yourself and will never be happy with what you got. You gotta learn when you've created something beautiful even if it's not perfect, and be happy with it and know you are an artist.

Okay, done now. :)

Sam said...

Thanks for your kind words over at mine Ali, I was only stating the truth! I wish I had the courage to find a publisher for my books, I guess I am afraid of possible rejection. And it would be the greatest honour working with someone as talented as you! Happy Friday Doll

Nami said...

Ali, Ali, Ali. Why dost thou doubt? I remember when you were knee high to a grasshopper. And it was a small grasshopper, too. All your art,which includes your creative writings, reflected (& still does) your inner soul. You wouldn't just draw a stick or crudely drawn princess like your other little grasshopper high friends. No, little Miss Ali, your princess had: high heels, a long gown with billowy skirts, a lacey top that showed off her shapely bosom, a swan-like neck with a pearl necklace, (the necklace had individual pearls,too), dangling earrings, lovely fingers with painted nails, rings on several fingers, beautiful full lips, gorgeous eyes with long lashes,& a head of long flowing hair.Do you get the picture? ALI, you are an artist & a very creative one, both with your drawings & writings. I have watched you develop from the princess drawing & "How to Care For A Beta" story, to The Bob Family, The Replicate, The Honeycomb, The Dreamstacks, The Tale of Two Legs & The Bottom of the Well. You are the best creative artist I know. I love you to the moon & back my little bitty pretty one.

his_girl_friday said...

These are so so great! Really lovely! Pursue your art!

Style Servings said...

It must be a difficult area to be in, but I really love your sketches! Definitely don't give up!

Jessi said...

Ali!! You ARE an artist!! And an incredible one at that!! I always LOVE seeing your work and I truly believe you are one talented girl! Don't doubt yourself, just do what you love :) These illustrations are great! I can't wait to see the final product!

Katie Aman said...

Haha! You described the awe of non-artists perfectly. If I see a good picture of a turd I am totally taken, I confess. I'm glad that you're letting your doubt fuel your passion further, that is the best way to ultimately make yourself better! You do have amazing talent though. Everything I've seen of yours is unique and different. Each picture tells its own story which is amazing!
I think we all wonder at times if what we chose to do with our lives is really the right path or not, but it's hard to deny your abilities, which are remarkable :)

Ivana Džidić said...

I know how you feel...Art is a hard cannot be reasoned with, you just have to give it your all and hope you'll get something in return.

That is where I stand with it now...I've had on and off relationship with the painting for a long time so I can feel with you.

It is even more hard when it comes to writing...I'm a tough critic and most of the times when I read my stuff I find it is only seldom that I feel like there is something worth sharing...and writing takes so much time and effort that I often think could be invested into something more useful...and yet I don't give up.

Sammi said...

This is all part of being a perfectionist with a creative soul. I really love your illustration style -- it reminds me of coloring books for adults! I have definitely had moments where I wonder if I'm cut out to be an actor (a lot of this happened during college and when I was living in New York, when competition was high and my self-confidence was low). I think that doubt actually makes you a much better artist; it encourages you to push yourself, to always be learning, and to feel as if what you've done is never enough. It'll drive you crazy, but it's a far better alternative than believing you know it all, have nothing more to learn, and going through life with an oblivious and inflated sense of self-worth. Dear Ali, don't question your level of talent or whether or not you should go after your dream, if you do decide it's what you want to do with your life!

xox Sammi

Alyssa Molin-Graves said...

I know exactly what you mean thinking that way (I've done it too, many times, about a variety of things) - but I've got to tell you- you are INCREDIBLY talented. My jaw dropped when I saw a post a while back with your photography, and your drawing in this post is absolutely stunning. The very first post I saw on your blog was an art post, and it really struck me how talented you were, so I kept checking back. It is often said that comparison is the enemy of content, and it's true. It's hard not to compare, but when we do, we are SO critical of ourselves and seem to shine a light on others thinking that what they do is so much better- we really judge ourselves unfairly! The truth is that no one is "better" than anyone else- we just all have different skill sets and we are all very different from one another. So maybe one person is better at realism- but the one who isn't as good is better at abstract art (and so on). You have so much heart and so much talent, Ali!!! And these line drawings (and story line) are so awesome, I love it! Press on girlie, you are so gifted!

xo, Alyssa

Lily Fang said...

Awww, Ali! I feel exactly the same way about many of my own pursuits. It can be especially intimidating to see wildly fast runners and extremely skilled violinists. But I also know that they worked their butts off to get there, running many more miles than I do and practicing hours more than I do. It takes much willpower to dedicate that much time to a pursuit, but if it means just that much, I know you have it!

I believe that your drawings are just lovely. The detail in that young lady's hair is so realistic and her dress is obviously well thought-out. I love this medieval country vibe! And with your beautiful writing, I have no doubt that this will be a fantastic story!

Jo said...


I'm sorry I disappeared for quite a while. I was busy trying to finish up all my work before I went for a holiday to Italy. I just came back on Friday and I've to work in a few hour's time... SOBZ...

I can't catch up with your other posts so I will start from here.

You draw beautifully. In fact, it looks just like what I see on children's books. Well, there are times where we would never be satisfied with ourselves and then we start to question and doubt ourselves but I feel phases like this are inevitable and it actually forces us to think more.

Have you seen my drawings before? They are amateur compared to yours. You will certainly go far! I don't know if I sound like I'm blabbering typing this at 2:30am.

Carley Lee said...

Ali this post resonates with me so much! Thank you for sharing this. Also, thank you for your sweet comment on my blog! I'm glad you commented because now I've found your blog :)
Your illustrations are so sweet! Keep up the amazing work, Ali - you definitely have unique talent!