Things have been getting a little more disciplined and routine on the drawing front now, thanks in large part due to the storyboarding mentorship that started earlier in the month. What I really like about this mentorship is that it’s a full year long, with modules spaced out over the twelve months. This means that there’s a much better chance of actually retaining the stuff I learn on a weekly basis, as opposed to CGMA courses which are basically an 8 week crash course- and then you lose access to course materials after a year. It also means that there’s just less pressure and stress on all fronts, especially without tight deadlines.
At a time when everything else is so uncertain, and I have other stuff to be getting on with, having this feels warm, somehow- it’s not so much a place to preform as it is a place to make mistakes, learn and grow, alongside people who are in the same boat. For maybe the very first time in my life, I’m not too fussed about only sharing my best work. Best effort, sure- but I feel like it’s important to have a space where you can show your weakest areas and know that the person giving you feedback is not judging you as a prospective employer, but as a teacher, and they’re trying to help fix those weaknesses.
I’ve been drawing more because of it, and slipping into flow has been easier. I’ve also been challenging myself a bit by tacking subjects I’m less familiar with, though there’s still a lot I’ve been avoiding, as my first assignment has taught me. Although I still love playing around with paints and colour for fun, storyboarding is really all about the sketches, and knowing that has helped me focus and not worry so much about learning full digital painting too at the same time.
I’m not seeing that much improvement quite yet, but one thing I have noticed is that it’s definitely getting easier to sketch figure volume and proportions using gesture drawing. I can feel the difference from a year and a half ago, when I was taking the Anatomy course at CGMA. The roughest and fastest of my drawings don’t look like total crap anymore, and the decent ones don’t take as long to do- so I guess the main progress I’m seeing is in speed.
I’m happy about this. Even if I end up not going (back?) into storyboarding (there is still the English MA in Vancouver, which I’m quite excited about), this journey has a ton of value. Learning to take a script to visuals, learning camera and filming techniques- that’s the sort of skillset I’d be proud to have, a tool for exploring my very greatest passion in this world: stories.