One speedpainting, every day, for an entire year.
Please note that this page is currently still in development. I have a sh*t-ton of images to compress here, and I’m also going through and re-publishing them to the blog 😉
Speedpaintaday is a project I undertook between 2015 – 2016, when my first contract in the entertainment industry ended (it was with Weta Workshop, where I worked as a grunt preparing props for Xhang Yimou’s film The Great Wall, as well as Peter Jackson’s WW1 Exhibition at the Dominion Museum, Wellington).
While initially I started it to help improve my skills in the hopes of getting another job with them as what I really wanted (I had applied as a concept artist), it grew into a project that, laboriously, and painfully, helped me recover my creativity and sense of self. It helped me not only improve my artistic skills, but precluded a very long journey that is as-of-yet ongoing.
Since then I have learned a lot about the entertainment industry, as well as myself, and the world. I am not what you’d call your usual artist, and have found comfort in my strengths. There is too much writing and “industry advice” telling you who and what to be—and while this can work for some of us, it doesn’t for all, and I have come to believe that artists and their inspiration serve a greater role for society than commercial use alone.
Theory can help, but it depends to which purpose you intend to utilize art, and in my experience it more-often-than-not trips one up through self criticism; thereby practice by doing what you love, without judgement! Just let it happen, and enjoy 🙂 It’s the best way to improve at anything; discipline’s for the military, and, in my experience, the surest way to kill a muse.
To round things up, I ended up leaving speedpaintaday slightly under 365 paintings, as I felt I out-grew the project and broader horizons called to me (please note too that these aren’t all the images—there were many WIPs or “work-in-progress” steps when I began to just paint a bit every day on larger projects). While the initial paintings were typically under 60 minutes (to teach me how to over-come perfectionism and enjoy painting again, no matter how “bad” they were), as I began to heal that time gradually grew to two-three hours, then three-five, then eight, then ten, and one of them is even around 32!
In short, art is not about the time you take to create something, nor the results. Do what you want, get it done, and move on. Because I can paint something quickly, does not mean I can always take it further when given more time—and vice versa. Please don’t judge yourself against my work, and instead try to see it as inspiration that, no matter where you are in your life, practice works, and you can succeed being exactly who you are, no matter how hard that can be at times 🙂
I wish you the best of luck on your journey, and hope that your path guides you true.
The Dreaming Sentinel.