When you're sick with a nasty cold but still finding it hard not to push around a pencil for a few minutes. I'm taking advantage of any time I can muster up.
Life is always throwing something crazy at me, and I haven't been drawing or painting nearly as much as I'd like, but I am trying to work my way back into some normal routine. It's much needed therapy and one of the only things that makes me feel complete. Somehow, I think lots of you can understand.
For those of you who wonder about messing up, worried working from memory or just doodling, this is for you. This is the kind of stuff I do while either sitting at work, sitting in the passenger seat of a car or when boredom is having its way with me (which tends to be more often than not).
I draw whatever shape comes to mind (turning that into some face or figurative thing), turn myself loose to do whatever I think of and sketch as fast as I possibly can. This is somewhere between 5 and 10 'seconds' (I don't allow myself more time than that because then I'll focus too much) and I love doing this. It frees me up from caring too much and they're usually way more fun than fine-tuned drawings.
So, free yo' mind, let loose and make mistakes as fast as you can. You'll be glad you did. Oh yeah, do this a lot and watch the magic unfold.
Some super quick, and very loose, sketches from life drawing over the last few weeks. I seriously love the focus and speed (5 to 15 minutes) in which these have to be done. It really forces you to not focus on too much detail and get caught up in the little things. So much fun!
ORIGINAL ART GIVEAWAY FOR THE NEW YEAR!
ENTER TO WIN: To show my appreciation for my followers and all the support you guys give me, if you share this post on your Facebook or Tumblr account (please make sure your settings are visible on Facebook so I can see you’ve shared it), you will be entered to win this cougar animal drawing on New Year’s day!
Enter as much as you like between now and December 31! I’ll announce the winner on New Year’s day and will be more than happy to ship it anywhere in the world.
Good luck and thanks for the continued support, friends!
Like my page and share to enter: https://www.facebook.com/brianjarrellart/
I didn't get as much drawing time as I would have liked yesterday but that will be first of many drawing dinosaur sessions, for sure. What a great place to draw, hang out and explore the wonders of our natural history!
If you're in or around the Pittsburgh area you have to check out the Carnegie Mellon natural history museum (@CarnegieMNH). There's so much to see and learn. And draw, of course. But seriously, check out the dinosaur and wildlife exhibits, they're friggin' amazing!
They say change is good. Well, anyone that knows me, or knows what I do, knows that this is definite change. I'm determined to make new things happen and bring new dimension to what I love doing.
I've honestly never wanted to do anything other than draw with a pen or pencil in hand but I feel it's time for something that'll challenge me in ways I'm definitely not used to.
There are so many amazing digital artists out there and it's more than piqued my interest to give it a whirl myself. I've also had this subconscious thing bugging me for years (literally) about creating a book or series of themed/character bodies of work and I don't think I had any choice but make this happen.
Let the fun begin!
I was contacted recently about my figurative work being featured in Apócrifa Art Magazine (www.apocrifa.com.mx) which is a Spanish art publication that has readership in over 40 countries worldwide.
I'm super excited to be part of such a great art publication, and especially for featuring some of my figurative work (not to mention being in the company of Lucian Freud).
There's nothing I love drawing more than the human figure and so thankful for the opportunities it's given me over the years to develop and grow as an artist. In my opinion, there's absolutely nothing more valuable or important, for any artist, that drawing the human figure.
Thanks again, Apócrifa!
Check it out via the link below:
So, it's been a crazy spring (err, few months) so far and I've not been able to update my blog as much as I'd like, or draw for that matter, and hoping to fix that problem very soon. And, as much as I have planned or wanted to update things, life somehow always seems to get in the way of creativity and throw me a few curve balls along the way.
Anyway, I'll hopefully I'll get back on track very soon and I appreciate you stopping in to say hello.
I've been asked many times where I get my inspiration. What triggers it, what are you smokin', or how can I become more inspired?
Well, here's the short answer (before I go into hyper drive with my random nonsense). I just open my eyes and have a look around. I guarantee that all the inspiration you'll ever need is right there in front of you, no matter where you live on this vast planet of craziness and interesting things. To make a long story short, YOU are the inspiration... not a particular person, a place, or thing.
If you have a few minutes to waste I'll tell you a little about me and my thought processes. First of all, I absolutely love where I live and how I grew up. Being from a small, very rural town in central Appalachia (and when I say very, I mean very rural!), I understand that inspiration certainly comes with its share of challenges, as it pertains to massive quantities of people (the lack thereof), subways, art museums, and skyscrapers... if that's what you deem as inspirational. Luckily, I don't think inspiration comes from any particular place or thing. It's more about circumstance and making the best of any situation work for your own experiences.
And if I had to rely on copious amounts of people, or subway rides, to fulfill an inspirational idea, I'd most likely die waiting for some magic moment to happen that most likely never will.
For instance, there are days that I go to my local coffee shop to draw and I can almost guarantee, with the utmost certainty, that I'll see the same fifteen people I saw the day and weeks before and know exactly where they sit. The exact chair they sit in, what they're doing, what they're reading, and what they're listening to while they're interacting with some small talk with the person sitting next to them. And you know what, that's perfectly fine, I'll take whatever I can get.
And sure, I'd love nothing more than to live in San Francisco, where on any given day, I would more than likely not see the same person twice. And yes, more often than not, I do crave such places. But fear not, that's not always where inspiration comes from, folks. It's everywhere, in all things. It's up to you to make inspirational things happen.
Although, I do often dream of hanging out with Jeremy Wade (that cool cat from the TV show, River Monsters) and spending weeks at a time exploring regions of the planet (and fishing, of course) from which many of us have never even heard, or most likely ever see. Trekking to the far reaches of some remote village with only a small wooden canoe hulled out by the locals, in search
of a fresh water fish that mythology has deemed as a killer.
I know, I know... I digress. But for me, personally, that might be an amazing 'inspirational' trip! To carry around sketchbooks and draw people, or groups of indigenous people, that are so far removed from cell phones, the internet, and completely off any sort of grid that I'm are forced to focus on their traditions and way of life that is so different than what we see as ordinary. I can only imagine the limitless opportunities to sketch these native people and the time-honored traditions they practice and pass down to their children.
And well, with the unlikelihood that that'll ever happen, I'll get back to the reality at hand and share some last thoughts on what inspires or motivates me, and how you can start to think a bit differently about wherever it is you live. And trust me, it really doesn't matter where you reside, what far corner of the world you may find yourself in, or the lack of supplies you have around you. There are immense opportunities to create and document life as it happens. And for me, that's what it's all about.
My advise to you is this. Start looking at life a little differently, maybe even a lot more simply, as it relates to drawing and sketching. Free your soul and let the simplest of things be your waypoint. Let the distractions become your guide and challenge the obstacles you face to lead you on new journeys.
Here's an example. Take a look at that old guy in the corner of your local coffee shop with the interesting nose and profile... he's of great inspiration! He doesn't even know you're alive, and yet, he begs to be drawn with his raggedy old shoes and wrinkled hands reading the newspaper. He's got decades of wisdom wrapped up in those wrinkles and I'm pretty certain he has one helluva story to tell, even if you'll never be able to figure it out. It's up to you to tell some sort of story without ever speaking a word to him.
And pay close attention to the woman propped up next to the pizza shop smoking a cigarette and talking to her lover. Her body language can write
a novel and I can guarantee that you are nowhere on her radar. Such great character with the hand gestures and gum-chewing that you'll do anything
to keep her from going anywhere else, praying that she doesn't catch you. These are priceless moments and the character they exude can be so powerful.
I truly live for those few minutes, sometimes even just a few seconds, to lay pen to paper and capture a simple moment in time that will live on another day.
I'll end with this nugget of nonsense. I was enjoying a really cold day of hiking with my two dogs last week and happened across an opossum walking right beside us (yes, it would have been nice if were a more interesting specimen, but again, I make the most of what I've been given). Luckily for the opossum my dogs didn't wind him. I let the dogs meander away and I managed to capture an iPhone shot of him in full defense mode, warning me that if I come closer he will certainly gnaw me to death. I chuckled a bit and moved on, neither of us no worse for the wear. But, you can bet that the little guy will end up somewhere in one of my sketchbooks, telling some sort of story and making some sort of interesting composition, however weird it may be.
Sometimes we have to make our own inspiration as life is full of challenges and roadblocks. It's how we use them that become who we are as artists.
Stephen Beckner is the lucky winner of my original drawing giveaway! And yes, I did this old school style with a fancy bowl and cut out names. I know, right?
I can't thank you guys enough for the awesome feedback, shares, and likes for this giveaway and the launch of my new website.
By the way, stay posted for more upcoming drawing giveaways this year. There will be plenty of chances to snag an original. And hopefully by then I'll be up and running with some prints to be given away as well.
Many thanks, friends... I sincerely appreciate your continued support!
Over the last few years I've come to realize how important a simple sketchbook really is. It's a place to go, a personal journey, a sea of thoughts yet to be drawn, a place to decompress from the stress of a job, and even a sense of comfort when bad days are on the horizon. I can always escape there and no one but me can make something happen. It's empowering and I absolutely live for it.
I can honestly say that there are almost no times when I am without several. I keep certain ones for certain drawings, or drawing themes, and they're ready to go at any given time... literally, wherever I go. Whenever the mood hits I have one for every situation and every scenario.
In college, there was always one painting professor that required us to keep one. We always had to produce a certain amount of sketches, per semester, and usually I'd end up doing most of them a day or two before they were due. Looking back on it, however, it wasn't nearly enough and I wish he'd have required about quadruple the amount. I also wish I'd have spent more time creating versus cramming drawings into a few days. But, it's a lesson learned.
Little did I understand how important it really was to keep a constant flow
of creative juices moving and there's no better place that a sketchbook. I also never understood how important this would be for me, personally, later in my career.
Luckily, sketchbooks found their way back into my life and have given me
renewed focus and energy.
I encourage you, no matter what level of artist you are, to keep several going at all times. Draw a few things and then let them rest for a while. Move on, come back to them a few days or weeks later, and reignite new energy. Sure, you're going to make mistakes, maybe even get mad at yourself for making an absolute mess of a perfectly good drawing, or end up throwing it against a wall, or perhaps worse.
Keep in mind, however, that a sketchbook should be about the journey, not the destination.
This has been a long time coming and I'm really excited to start 2015 with
new vision and new work. And more importantly, that I am able to share it
and offer an online shop to make it available for you. I've received so many great questions about purchasing that I decided to start this new year with a brand new endeavor. It's a little sparse at the moment but stay tuned, I plan on cranking things up in 2015.
For the short term, I am only offering original sketches. However, in the very near future I will absolutely be introducing some sort of prints, most of which will depend on your feedback. I'm always open to new ideas and communication, so please, fire away!
And yes, I will also be making some videos to post as well. I've also had lots
of great requests for these as well. I apologize for not making them available sooner but life has this unique way of getting in the way of my creative juices. I can assure you, however, that I'm starting to think of possibilities and approaches and can't wait to get started.
Over the last few years I've also had the privilege of making many new friends and acquaintances through my work and it's been more than humbling to say the very least... thank you! I absolutely love connecting with new people and new artists, finding out their stories, and learning about what part of the world they/you are from. So please, shoot me a message, connect with me and let me know who you are and what you're about.
Finally... I'll be blogging quite a bit (here) with new nonsense and my random ramblings about my personal processes for making art, staying focused and motivated, sharing videos, what tools I'm trying out, what I can't stand using, and what money I've wasted on them so you hopefully you won't have to.
Oh yeah, be sure to like my Facebook page as well. I'm giving away
an original sketch so check out the details (like my page, share my website post with your friends and enter for a chance to win) and enter as much as you'd like. Deadline to enter is January 23 and I'll announce the winner on that day. Good luck!
So, here we go... cheers!