Week 1: Orientation

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Happy New Year!

I’ve officially kicked off my DIY Art School adventure, starting with a two-week “orientation.” During this little warm-up to the main event, I’ll be easing in to work with a few fun “assignments.”

My focus this week is reflecting on my own artistic style and how I might want to develop it. I’m watching a couple of videos in Christine Nishiyama’s Art School Bootcamp on Skillshare, and starting Lila Roger’s class, “Treasure Hunt Your Artistic Style” on Creativebug. After watching these videos, I’ll create a mood board for my style as it is right now, and think about which areas/ techniques I’d like to expand or refine.

Next week I’ll recap some of the fundamentals (basic color theory, principles and elements of design, a bit of composition) and do a self-assessment of my portfolio, such as it exists right now! Then, I’ll get to start on the meat of the project, with a focus on illustrating plants and animals during January.

During these two weeks of orientation, I’m re-reading Austin Kleon’s awesome book Steal Like An Artist, and reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way for the first time. I’m also checking out a blog post by Jerry Saltz (discovered via Austin Kleon’s excellent newsletter), 33 rules for being an artist.

I’m hoping all of this will help me get my head on straight as I dive in to the practice-oriented part of my adventure. I’ll be doing sketchbook exercises every day starting… NOW, and posting those to Instagram daily. Each month I’ll designate a set of exercises from Creativebug to fall back on if I am feeling stuck or uninspired.

My “real” projects don’t really start until after orientation, but I’m kind of chomping at the bit to open up a few new pans of watercolors I got for Christmas, so we’ll see where that takes me over the next few days 😀 

In terms of blog posts, throughout my DIY adventure I’ll review the video courses I watch and books I read, share any projects I make, and write reflections on my own process and ideas about creativity. At the end of each week I’ll do a “work in review” post, recapping my sketchbook work and what I completed during the week. I’m aiming to blog about DIY Art School 3 times each week.

Whew, think that’s enough?!?! I’d best get a move on, those videos won’t watch themselves!

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This week’s resources:

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