Week 11: It’s Kind Of Hard To Practice What You Preach
My project is officially finished! If you didn’t have the pleasure of watching my presentation in person, here’s a YouTube link to the recorded version: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUXR9whNrQdbd66OE9YfhW67gp4DuOYnG
If you want to see the finished pieces of Jane Eyre in high resolution with progress images, click my portfolio link: https://alisonding6.artstation.com/
The Last Hurrah
I’ve carefully pondered what to talk about in this last blog post of mine. You’ve heard all about my research and drawing process and whatnot for these past ten weeks. Thus, today I thought I’d talk a bit about my struggles with my motivation and mindset throughout this project, as well as how I powered through to finish this project.
(That sounded more dramatic than it actually is. Let’s just get into it.)
Breaking the Curse of Unfinished Projects
I’m fairly confident that anyone who’s ever tried to make something understands this. You start a project. You wake up each morning, excited to work on it and go to bed at night thinking about it. But as days pass, you start to lose interest. You no longer feel the same burn to work on your project and dedicate less time and mental space to it. Then, you by chance come across an episode of your favorite Chinese cartoon and go on a binge and spend three days drawing fan art of it, completely forgetting your project.
No? Just me?
I can’t even count how many times this cycle has repeated itself. Since I constantly burn out, I don’t have any nice illustration sets or other substantial art projects in my portfolio —— which was a huge thorn in my back. (Some of the better-looking of my abandoned projects, featuring Yor Forger and Lord of The Rings)
I wanted to show myself that I had the ability to finish a substantial project without quitting midway. My Jane Eyre project was my chance for redemption — and I succeeded!
Some Very Trite But Ever Effective Pieces of Advice
So how did I manage to overcome my curse of unfinished projects? It really comes down to three very simple things I did to set myself up for success:
- Goals: I Needed To Finish The Senior Project In Order To Get The “High” Next To The “Honors” On My Diploma. I Also Set An Achievable End Product — Just 5 Illustrations.
- Timeline + Deadlines: I Knew I Had To Finish 1 Piece Per Week, Which Motivated Me To Keep Drawing (Otherwise I’d Have To Cram At The End). Also, School-Imposed Deadlines (Weekly Blog Updates, Project Presentation Day . . . ) Kept Driving Me.
- People: I Had People Involved In My Project That I Had To Produce Art To Show To: My Amazing Mentor, Mr. Marco Bucci, And My Amazing In-School Mentor, Mrs. Bhattacharya. Since I Couldn’t Waste Their Time, I Had To Do My Work So Our Meetings Would Be Productive.
(I realize I’m a slight hypocrite as I type this blog, over a week late, while harping about the importance of meeting deadlines. But hey, it’s not always easy to practice what you preach.)
My biggest challenge actually occurred around drawing #3. At that point, I’d lost a lot of steam and didn’t feel motivated to draw for Jane Eyre at all. I wanted to work on other personal projects and sketches, but I felt that if I had time to draw for fun, I should spend that energy on Jane Eyre instead.
This got me into quite a toxic mindset where I’d want to work on a fun project, but tell myself I couldn’t because I should be working on Jane Eyre. As a result, I’d just . . . not draw at all.
Eventually, this got resolved when I took a 3-day long break, only working on some fun sketches: So my takeaway from this whole thing — set realistic goals, stick to a timeline, get others involved to help keep you accountable (it’s really not that hard — just tell your mom about it or something), and TAKE BREAKS.
Since there’s no next week, I guess this is goodbye! If you made it to this post, thanks for sticking around for my project. It’s been good : )