The holidays are a natural time to think about what we’ve done over the course of the year and about our plans for next year. New Years is when a lot of us do it. We see a need in our life and want to make a change for the better. Is New Years really the only time we can make a change in our life? When is really the best time to start a resolution?
There’s something in my brain that seems to want to start new things at the beginng of the week, the month, or the year. Maybe, there’s some solidarity I feel in starting at the same time as a lot of other people. We’re all in this thing together! Doing a Photo or Drawing-A-Day challenge starting at the beginning of the month instead of joining in the middle. Saying “This week, I’m going to do all the drawings and still get to bed early.” The problem I’ve always had with this is that there will come a day when something comes up. When I just…can’t. I’ve set myself up for failure by making an all or nothing statement, because I can’t just move past the drawing that didn’t get done. Now I owe two. I might let this pile up on me for a little while, but then I feel like I just have to admit that it’s impossible. I can’t get twelve drawings done this weekend. I give up. I’ll wait and try again next month.
“All his life has he looked away. To the future. To the Horizon. Never his mind on where he was. What he was doing.” -Yoda ESB
Why though? Why wait until next month? I’m thinking that maybe, the best time to start a new resolution is now. Start developing it as a new habit while I’m most inspired to do it. I read somewhere that most resolutions are destined to fail. Not because we want them to, but because of that all or nothing statement. Yoda may be cool with saying “Do or do not. There is no try.” but I prefer to try a different approach. Instead of calling this new thing we’re doing a resolution, let’s call it a project. Like a resolution, a project has a goal, but its usually short term, and has a work pipeline, or certain steps happening at certain times, to complete it. There will be day’s that working on the project just don’t work out. That doesn’t mean it’s all over and I’ve failed, because the days themselves aren’t the project. Having a pipeline will help build habits. At the end of the project I’ll have the work and a jumping off point for the next “project.” Changing my life in a meaningful way may eventually be the outcome, but moving forward on the project from day to day is the goal. So instead of saying that I’m going to work in my sketchbook every day I’m going to build that process into my first project pipeline.
Inspired by a drawing that a friend of mine posted from his Inktober sketchbook, I’m going to make a coloring book of gnomes and animals. Using my handy chicken, egg-timer, I’ll spend 30 minutes daily doodling in my sketchbook. This will be playing with borders, stories, scenes and illustrations. Starting in week two of the project timeline, I’ll add a second 30 minutes of the hour to begin developing the previous week’s sketches into more finished compositions. Week three will be beginning on final drawings, and week four will be finalizing the inked drawings and laying out the book. My goal is to have a 20 page coloring booklet completed in four weeks.
I love to document my work, and my days and I’m sure that those of you that follow me on Instagram ( @redherringjeff ) will be seeing a pretty good amount of what’s going on behind the scenes as this project comes together. Every week I do a larger behind-the-scenes post for my $2 and up Patreon backers that is delivered directly to their email. It features scans, photos and commentary on what’s up in the studio. Thanks for stopping in and thank you for sharing our work with us. We couldn’t do this thing without your support.