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Getting Artsy

Lately, I’ve been on a big art kick. If we’re friends on Facebook or Instagram, this isn’t any big shock. Your feed has probably been a bit inundated with a sudden, steady flow of sketches, paintings, and illustrations. My apologies.

Art and Illustration are something that I’ve always enjoyed and admired, but only recently indulged in, in a non-digital format. By profession, I’m a designer. I build digital works using the adobe products (photoshop and illustrator mostly) and then bring them to life using code and scripts. But creative works on paper or canvas aren’t something that I’d tackled since I was a kid.

Recently though, I’ve had the hankering to re-visit art outside of the desktop world, and it’s been really refreshing. Over the past few months, the tools have transitioned from ipad + stylus, to paper and sketching pencils, to an inkwell and brushses, to acrylic paints, and now I’m playing with some really cool ink pens (the perfect bday present). I have to say it’s been invigorating.

Sure, I see some of the skills bleeding into my work a bit, which is great. But more than that, it has turned into a really cool creative outlet. When I’m on a bench with my supplies out, I quickly find my way into a state of focus that feels nearly meditative. In an instant, my shoulders relax and I’m able to concentrate only on technique and finding a way to represent the spirit of my subject.

At first, the pressure of trying to be “good at this” and working without the safety net of the undo button had me a bit unnerved. But at some point I was able to shrug off enough of my perfectionism to embrace the process. I’m a student (though self-taught), attempting to learn new tools and techniques. Sometimes I’m just going to botch things or pick the wrong line.

Now that I’m a little deeper in the process, I’m catching glimpses of perspective as well. Specifically, I haven’t completed a single piece without that inevitable moment of self-doubt and concern for the mess that I’m creating. Early on this was a time to crumple the paper and move on. However, as I learn to embrace the uncertainty, I find myself working through the moment and eventually walking away with some of my favorite works.

At home, “art time” is a special way to connect with my son. Every weekend we start the morning with an early breakfast, I brew some coffee, and then we sit down at the kitchen table/studio. From there, we pick a subject and get to work. While we craft our masterpieces, we listen to tunes and help each other. The process is complete when we eventually go show off our work to our favorite art critic (Jess).

As I create more, I’m confident my style and technique will evolve. I’m excited to see where that takes me. In the meantime, I’m hooked on the works of a few amazing artists and illustrators, and can’t help but search their work for clues on how they’ve accomplished their feats.

So there you have it. Things are getting a little artsy at the Hardy house. Thanks for reading and feel free to look through a few of my recent works.

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