For our Doodlewash prompt of “Cat” combined with the Inktober prompt of “Dizzy,” we ended up with this little kitten trying to collect itself after chasing its own tail. Yeah, I got a little lost watching funny cat videos. Not only do cats chase their own tails, some seem to enjoy just spinning in circles like a little kid. There was a cat that kept coming back to lay in a circular sled while the owner spun it in circles. It would fly out and stumble around a bit and then come right back for more. I loved this cat! It was having a blast and doing the very thing I did when I was a kid. Sure, we had merry-go-rounds on the playground, but just spinning around in circles until you got incredibly dizzy was super fun. Though, we eventually grow up, of course, and the idea of going in circles becomes something negative and related to going nowhere at all. This month, I’ve been trying a lot of new techniques and approaches as I’ve done along. I’m always sure to use the word technique instead of style, because I believe our own unique personal styles are inherent to us. No matter how differently I approach something, it always comes out in my own very particular way.
With only a week left this month, I’ve tried just about every pen and ink technique I’ve wanted to try. My favorite tool has been the brush pen, but still on the hunt for one I like a bit better. And, as for my favorite visual approach, I’m not actually sure if I have one. What I’ve loved most this month is that I’ve applied the technique to the subject matter itself. For my little kitten, since this one was realistic, I went back to the original approach I used when I very first started the month.
What I’ve learned so far is that I’m definitely still like this little cat. I just love spinning around in circles! I’ll keep experimenting, but each road I take will simply lead me back to being me again. And, that’s the best feeling in the world! I’ve watched in awe as artists this month have made phenomenal drawings in ink. There were moments where I became frustrated thinking I could barely draw at all. I just can’t DO what they can, I’d think. But, that’s simply not the case. The only real difference between me and them is lots and lots of practice.
So, I’m going to just keep right on sketching stuff and practicing each and every day like I’ve always done. This month, I’ve sketched without a reference, I’ve invented my own characters, and I’ve even written a very short story on the fly. What I’m actually capable of DOing is only limited by my ability to give myself the permission to actually DO it! I’m writing this here, because I’ll look back on this post or it might even appear in my podcast. And when I read this again, I’ll smile and thank myself because I did need to be reminded. It’s never easy to fully conquer self-doubt. But once I managed to go for it and try things I didn’t think I could do, I felt like I’d broken free a bit. I didn’t care anymore about doing things well, it just felt good to be trying something I once felt was scary. And there’s no better month than Halloween month to scare myself forward to a better and more confident path with my art. What happens next will be completely unexpected and totally expected all at the same time. An art journey is like all good stories and is both surprising, yet inevitable. It’s awesome to always find myself circling back to my own unique style. After all of these years, I still enjoy the wonderfully comfortable experience that comes from chasing my own tail.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Terra Cotta, Opus (Vivid Pink), Ultramarine (Green Shade), and Cobalt Turquoise. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen (Broad Nib) with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
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