I became overly concerned over small details that few people would even notice. In truth, I probably would have received better results if I had continued to work quickly and without too much restraint, but I could not help it. As it was, it would take me hours to create a drawing that a ‘real’ cartoonist or illustrator would do in 5 minutes. I would hurt myself a lot with this thought.
I would zoom into the drawings in photoshop and smooth out the lines as much as I could, despite the fact that I would then redraw everything in Illustrator afterwards. Using vector illustrations was a way of compensating for what I perceived to be a lack of talent and a growing insecurity. I had not drawn much in recent years and I was doubting myself. These computer softwares were a cushion and a way of enabling my desire to create in a very controlled environment.
The above drawing shows the evolution from paper, to Photoshop, to one year later when I tried redrawing the face again and going through the same process. Some improving, but I have long ways to go to get to the point that I hope to be. Strangely, every step of the way, I’m aware of a quality in the drawings just enough to to convince myself to keep going and move forward. There always comes a point in the future when I look back and wonder what quality I saw in the drawings in the first place that led me to pursue the project. After all, my more realistic work was still getting more attention.
My state of mind was summed up well by a friend in their message to me in December of 2012.
“I hope you start putting yourself back into the equation. Art is all about self-expression and you’re cheating it (i.e. Art) and yourself if “you” are not in what you create – which I’m sure you already know. But, you have to be ready and willing to see what comes out – I’ve shocked myself in the past with some of the things I’ve sketched. But, all of it represents my emotions, which are commonly very raw and obvious in my creations.
Then again, who knows, maybe you never really took yourself out of the equation… maybe the feelings you have about the “human touch” and imperfections are what kept you from including it in your work. The mind is definitely a curious thing : )
But one things for sure, you gotta start having fun with it.”