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It is so easy with our busy daily lives (especially if you have day job along with being artist) that you just stop challenging yourself. And challenging yourself, and pushing your own boundaries as an artist is essential to keeping your skills sharp and fresh. So here is my list of how I challenge myself everyday.




 


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1. Never Stop Learning


With this economy, no matter what industry you in, you need to always be expanding your skillset. The more marketable skills you have,  the better. This especially goes double if you are artist. So take a class, go read some books, do some tutorials.  If you stop learning, you stop challenging yourself, and that’s a very easy for you to go stagnate as an artist.


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2. Visit Museums and Galleries


I primarily work in graphic design and photo manipulations, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be inspired by the great painters, and sculptors of past.  Although, I live in San Antonio, you wouldn’t think that we wouldn’t have a great art scene. However,  San Antonio have at least three museums (my favorite being the McNay museum) and is home to a vibrant art district ,called the King William’s District, which that hosts weekly art exhibits.  I am often get some of my best ideas after visiting the art district or museums.  So it’s a great way to brighten your horizons.


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3. Do Something New


I personally think that one of the biggest secrets to becoming a good artist is having the courage to jump in and try something new.  I always try to push myself try something at least once a week. And yes, I sometimes fail, but the most important thing is that succeed or fail you will learn something new. And you have to remember, making mistakes is essential to growing as an artist.


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4. Talk to Other Artists


Working as an artist of any medium be it painter or writer or even graphic designer can be a lonely business and no one knows our pain quite like other artists. If you near a major metropolitan city why not check out if they are some meetups or industry events near you? It’s a great way to network, but it’s also a good way to find a nice support system that will help keep your spirits up, especially when you have artist block.


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5.  Blog About It


Seriously, I know this is reductant because you are in fact reading this from a blog. However, what challenging myself the most is blogging about art. Blogging helps me keep track of my successes and my failures and what I need to improve on.  However, if you too shy to blog, why not try write it down in a private journal or even an audio diary? I think almost every cell phone has a sound recording app.




 


So this is my list on how I challenge myself as artist, how do you challenge yourself?  Also, if you like what read here, please check out my portfolio, thanks!


- http://i1.wp.com/gigikiersten.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/15-Reasons-to-Challenge-Yourself-Every-Day-MainPhoto2.jpg?fit=660%2C444 -http://gigikiersten.com/blog/2016/02/05/five-things-challenge-artist/
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Yeah, I need to stop counting days.  I keep forgetting to actually update this and it’s just messy. So I’m stopping with the counting of the days. I’m about a quarter through the Typography Workbook and oh my god, I’m learning so much. Seriously, my designs have like improved a thousand folds.  The downside of this is now I’m super parnoid about my typesetting and kerning. It takes me longer to finish because I’m nitpicking over every piece of type.  Now, I did a design for a Harry Potter inspired book cover and Oh my god it took me forever, but it came out so well. Seriously, I love it and it’s the best so far.


I need to work more on having more than one subject in my compositions which is going to be so hard let me tell you. Also, apparently I’m blowing up tumblr, because my book cover for ‘Red Queen to Overwatch’ went viral last week.  It’s like at 65 notes on tumblr, and 157 kudos on A03. It just blows my mind.


I also plan to do some articles on this blog, other than my personal whinging.  I also want to branch out into wallpapers (which you would think wouldn’t be so hard to do but it is). Oh! And I’m very close to getting my first paid commission *bounces in my seat* It’s a fanfic commison, and I was very leery of taking money to do fanfic book covers, because that shit can be beacon for lawyers to go after me, and I really don’t need that type of drama in my life.


However, this can be like my foot in the door to being a paid artist.  So I’m very excited, and I hope this comes to fruition *keeps fingers crossed*.


 


- http://gigikiersten.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/moving-forward.jpg -http://gigikiersten.com/blog/2016/01/11/a-step-forward/
justaddgigi: (Default)

Yeah, I need to stop counting days.  I keep forgetting to actually update this and it’s just messy. So I’m stopping with the counting of the days. I’m about a quarter through the Typography Workbook and oh my god, I’m learning so much. Seriously, my designs have like improved a thousand folds.  The downside of this is now I’m super parnoid about my typesetting and kerning. It takes me longer to finish because I’m nitpicking over every piece of type.  Now, I did a design for a Harry Potter inspired book cover and Oh my god it took me forever, but it came out so well. Seriously, I love it and it’s the best so far.


I need to work more on having more than one subject in my compositions which is going to be so hard let me tell you. Also, apparently I’m blowing up tumblr, because my book cover for ‘Red Queen to Overwatch’ went viral last week.  It’s like at 65 notes on tumblr, and 157 kudos on A03. It just blows my mind.


I also plan to do some articles on this blog, other than my personal whinging.  I also want to branch out into wallpapers (which you would think wouldn’t be so hard to do but it is). Oh! And I’m very close to getting my first paid commission *bounces in my seat* It’s a fanfic commison, and I was very leery of taking money to do fanfic book covers, because that shit can be beacon for lawyers to go after me, and I really don’t need that type of drama in my life.


However, this can be like my foot in the door to being a paid artist.  So I’m very excited, and I hope this comes to fruition *keeps fingers crossed*.


 


- http://i0.wp.com/gigikiersten.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/moving-forward.jpg?fit=500%2C333 -http://gigikiersten.com/blog/2016/01/11/just-stop/
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I’m currently undecided if I’m going to take tomorrow off. I might be too hung over to actually get any productive studying done. I’ve read a bit more into the typography book (currently at page 30).  And yes, it seems that I’m going at a snail pace, but that what works for me. I read until my head starts to hurt from information overlode and I stop.


I can google at people who retain information from 50 pages a day, because I can’t do that. I don’t think I ever could do that to be honest.


Also, after reading only about a quarter (or less than a quarter ) I have come to realize that my kearning is horrendous even on my own blog and I’m kinda alarmed.  It makes me want to RE DO EVERYTHING I HAVE DONE.


However, the point of this blog and my portfolio is to log my growth as an artist, so I can just push the big red delete button and delete everything. Ugh. I also realized that I’m going to have to activity start using the grid function in photoshop, because I can barely pay attention to the spacing problems without it. *hangs head in shame*. This why I’m kind of hesitant to start actually selling any of my work right now, because it’s painfully obvious to the other designers that I’m amateur, and when I come out strong.


There is just SO MUCH TO FREAKING LEARN. The cornerstones of my education is going typography, color theory, and layout, but that’s the freaking tip of the iceberg. I need to learn illustration (ye gods) because I can rely on photoshop and stock photography for everything. *headdesk*


I still want to just download all the information in my brain and instantly be a boss at typography. Why can’t I just do that?  Also to be fair, I have come so far since I started to seriously study the craft. I mean I use to stick two pictures together, put in some type, and blend mode it.  I’m so not kidding.


And speaking of my typography fails, I was one of those noobs who thought typography was just picking out a font and if it’s in bold. *groans* Nope, nopedity, nope. Who would have thought arranging letters on a page would be so confusing. I feel like I want to cry.


Oh, and one more thing I’m going to be posting some links to some resources for other people who are in the same boat I’m in.  So did you guys find it hard to learn typography, or am I the only typography noob?


 


 


- http://gigikiersten.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/1399664875480-1024x576.jpeg -http://gigikiersten.com/blog/2015/12/31/day-28/
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So yeah, I decided to cut short my headache and switch books. I know, I know it’s a little confusing but I got to find a better book on visual communication because that was dry as hell. Seriously, snorefest all the way.  I think people need to start making textbooks more entertaining or risk students trying to bang their heads against books, honestly.


By some stroke of luck, I actually got a few new twitter friends. All authors or book bloggers, and I’m the lone artist in the bunch. This is what I get for following Kryptaria on twitter!  I put all the blame on her, although I’m not annoyed at it all. I want to break into the book market anyway, and what better way to do so by getting to know other people in the market.  I might I also found another fandom bestie!


I think friending all of these authors and book bloggers are getting me back into books. Although, I haven’t had any luck finding a book to capture my attention yet. *gasp* I am in fact experiencing that rare disease called, ‘Fandom Burnout’. It has finally happened to me, and now I must go back to all those romance books that I have forsaken to squee over my slash OTP’s.


Honestly, I think I need to just slow my roll and go back to basics, and since Romance Novels are my basics (I have so many old bodice rippers hidden in boxes I can’t even tell you).


Back to graphic design, so Typography (a little confusing) but I’m loving it. I really want to improve my own designs and typography is one of the major ways I can do it. I am also loving the typography workbook.


The book is so pretty, and I was a little hesitant to go highlighter happy like I do with my other books, but I finally did start highlighting and there is just SO MUCH INFORMATION! I wish I could pull a Neo from the matrix and just download all the information into my brain.  But I must keep reading.


*sigh*


And speaking to reading I’m going to try to read an original fic book at least once a week and work my way up to three books a week. I need to back off the fandom before I end in a straight jacket or something.


- http://gigikiersten.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/typography-b2w.jpg -http://gigikiersten.com/blog/2015/12/31/day-27-typography-ftw/
justaddgigi: (Default)

So today was a shit day, and the irony of ironies? It’s a Friday.  So since I finished the chapter yesterday, I thought it was time to review what I have learned so far. I also realized that putting my notes in a cloud would make it much easier to keep track of. I actually just use a folder and loose leaf notebook paper to keep track of my notes.


But I thought to be more efficient with my notes and start typing them in so I won’t loose them. I have a slower computer (I’m poor yo!) and I wanted something much more lightweight than onenote, so I’m actually using simplenote. I downloaded the app, and now I can take my notes with me on the go. I actually like simplenotes more than googlekeep, which is also another lightweight alternative to onenote. I’m halfway through it, and I might type up the rest tomorrow as well. And I hate studying on the weekends.


I’m going to start the new chapter in visual communication on Monday. As for the practical aspects of my training, I actually learned how to do the line drawing technique yesterday and it was easy and fun and I love how it turned it out.  You can find it here.


I might try something a little harder today, I’m thinking of doing something for the sterek fandom as well or maybe something from stock images. *shrugs*


- http://gigikiersten.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Cloud-desktop-mobile.jpg -http://gigikiersten.com/blog/2015/12/18/day-24-going-digital/
justaddgigi: (Default)
So yeah, I’m done with this chapter. The last little bits of the chapter didn’t have a lot of information, but I spent this study session mostly taking notes on what I read yesterday. Although my head hurts after studying for so long.
I decided as way to test my self, and as a way to... http://gigikiersten.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/VisualWeb.jpg -
justaddgigi: (Default)
Just because you are self-studying a subject, doesn’t mean that you don’t have tools that will help you.  Here are some tools that help you succeed in anything that you are studying in, not matter what the subject.
1. Don’t Break The Chain.
Inspired by comedian Jerry Seinfeld. ... http://gigikiersten.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/tablet2-1024x683.jpg -
justaddgigi: (Default)
First and foremost, before I start off this study log I would like to remind my dear readers that they can read the previous study logs here.  Okay, now that is out-of-the-way. I basically tried to studied yesterday, but I was way too lazy to force myself out of bed. I’m still not really ... http://gigikiersten.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ejsedblok6yf3nvlkdya-1024x576.jpg -
justaddgigi: (Default)
Just because you are self-studying a subject, doesn’t mean that you don’t have tools that will help you.  Here are some tools that help you succeed in anything that you are studying in, not matter what the subject.
1. Don’t Break The Chain.
Inspired by comedian Jerry Seinfeld. ... http://gigikiersten.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/tablet2-1024x683.jpg -
justaddgigi: (Default)
So yeah, I’m done with this chapter. The last little bits of the chapter didn’t have a lot of information, but I spent this study session mostly taking notes on what I read yesterday. Although my head hurts after studying for so long.
I decided as way to test my self, and as a way to... http://gigikiersten.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/VisualWeb.jpg -
justaddgigi: (Default)
First and foremost, before I start off this study log I would like to remind my dear readers that they can read the previous study logs here.  Okay, now that is out-of-the-way. I basically tried to studied yesterday, but I was way too lazy to force myself out of bed. I’m still not really ... http://gigikiersten.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ejsedblok6yf3nvlkdya-1024x576.jpg -

August 2016

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