Oh, and a whole lotta sketches!
On January 1st, 2012, I sat down on what was to be a year long "sketching session." The goal was to produce one sketch every two days. I finished up on December 31st with 183 sketches. The goal was met, and I'm toast.
As with any project, the beginning was filled with optimism, energy, and lots of ideas. I was sketching fairly loose at that point, and turning out the material in just under a day. A few months into it, I though to myself, "Wow, this isn't so bad!"
Of course, being the detail crazed inker that I am, the sketches became more ambitious and started to take much, much longer as I progressed, turning into almost completed mini-pictures with lots and lots of lines; many of them featuring fully rendered backgrounds. By April, I was bogging down a bit because of my working technique, which calls for a complete pencil upon which to ink. I was spending longer and longer periods at the table, and by June, I did several weeks of 14 hour days. Throughout the project, I would shoot for least 5-6 hours a day, but many times it turned into 10 hour marathons. So, when I say it was a "sketch every two days," that's the average. Like any artist, I burn the candle at all three ends occasionally.
Why? Because, in May, I got sick for two weeks (and didn't draw anything) and in July, I took a two week vacation across the Pacific back to Seattle (for business, so very little actual sketching got done there, thanks to the neo-lithic cave lighting in the hotel room). Then, I took about a combined week to actually draw some finished compositions (above), and there were a dozen other mini-disasters that threatened to derail the project at a moment's notice over the summer.
Arriving back in China in mid-July, I wasn't feeling refreshed; I was feeling panicked! I was feeling burnt out! The thought of having to pick up a pencil was similar with the thought of having a root canal…without painkillers. By August, I was questioning my sanity, and my wife was starting to give me these side-long glances when she walked by the table, wondering if that pen had become permanently attached to my hand. I was not in a good mood when I was drawing, and in an even fouler mood when I wasn't!
Many times, I thought, "So, who cares if you don't finish a sketch every two days. The Sketch Police are not going to come by and incarcerate you because you decided to go out that evening! It's no big deal, Bob!" However, in the end, I knew that it was a big deal, and I would care. In the end, it was something I wanted to do for myself.
In the last week of August, I took a small break, not daring to think, look, touch, or breathe ART. I cleared out my mind, made some future plans, decided how to accomplish them, and sharpened my sword to slay the beast.
On September 6th, I sat down again and, catching my second wind, didn't slow down until late November. December proved to be a little more relaxed, as I was actually ahead of schedule, and good thing, too, with the Holidays approaching and having to prepare for final exams. I finished up "Jack of All Trades" as we were watching a New Year's variety show on Hunan T.V. as the clock ticked away the waning hours of 2012.
And that, as they say, is that. Would I want to do it again? Nope, no way...unless of course, I chose an all horizontal format, next time...
You can see the sketches I've posted on DA in greater detail here in my gallery folder, The Sketch Book Project: [link] There are 76 sketches, which leaves 107 unseen images that will be "new material" for the book. Maybe I'll give everyone a peek at a few in the coming months.
In 2013, I'll be collecting all of the sketches into a book. A sketchbook, yes, but what a sketchbook! There will be a Kickstarter campaign to get the project funded, with lots of extras, like prints and other books I've done, along with some original art offered for incentives on various level pledges. Maybe, just maybe, there will be some shirts with my art on them as well.
All of this inventory has been off the public market for the last three years, so I'll be using this event as a "coming out" party to re-introduce my work and to let people know I'm back in business, so to speak. I'll give plenty of notice, but right now, I'm thinking sometime in May or June.
If you are not familiar with the Kickstarter website, you can browse it here: [link] It's a wonderful way for individuals, groups, and organizations to release creative content into the community (fully funded), and it gives fans of a particular work some great extras for helping to get the project off the ground.
And no, I won't be doing it from China, but that announcement I'll save for the coming weeks. One thing at a time. I'll end by saying, "Happy New Year! May it be prosperous and full of Adventure!"
Traditional Black Ink Group
DeviantART Portfolio: [link]
The images in this DeviantART gallery are © by Bob Giadrosich/Sharayah Press and Red Dragonfly Illustration, respectively. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, and may not be featured outside of DeviantART without written permission from the artist.