Friday, October 29, 2010

Merry Go Round - Get out of your comfort zone and try something new

It''s time for another ride on the merry-go-round! Jump on and join a group of 8 artists/crafts-women as they link around the world and tell you a little about their lives in art and craft.

This month's topic is : Get out of your comfort zone and try something new

It seems that I could answer this question nearly every week!  With my jewelry this year, I've been out of my comfort zone quite a lot both with learning the colored anodized aluminum techniques and with  the Master Muse challenges.

But I've been COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone starting cartooning classes! At school etc, I always studied the sciences - and was even told I couldn't study art.  That was all very useful when I worked as a scientist for many years - but now it doesn't really help me much!  I've never learned to draw and have absolutely no natural talent for it.  I just can't draw. More recently, this has been a frustration ( and embarrassment ) for me.  But the idea of learning to draw traditionally hasn't really appealed to me, so instead, a few weeks ago I decided to try a cartooning class.

And my conclusion is that cartooning would be a lot easier if I knew how to draw!!!  I have found myself being very uncomfortable.  I had no idea how to start.  So I began by trying to use my jewelry sculpted characters to help me to draw, and thus my first drawings began with Humphrey and Trisha shaped birds.  You can see my attempts here:


Then I needed to give them better expressions....but how do beaks work? how does a bird smile?

My teacher suggested I look at making the wings more feather and fingerlike:

Then I was encouraged to try other bird shapes:

And then other animals:



And then I scanned in one of my drawings into the computer and colored it in:

What I like best about the class is how my drawings have now influenced my  bird sculptured jewelry.  Here is a bronze bird where I added eyebrows and eyelids for more expression:

And here is another bronze bird with more feather and finger-like wings

And here is a much more expressive and animated bird - Jump for Joy!

When I started the class, I didn't have a clear idea of why I wanted to do it.  I don't want to be a cartoonist or illustrator...but I just felt I should explore it.  As you can see, drawing is a real challenge for me and most of my drawings look like a young child did them. 

But I love the way that I used my jewelry to initially help me start drawing and now my "drawing" is helping my jewelry.  What a nice circle.

I still feel very uncomfortable drawing - and showing you it here - but at least I'm trying.  It's also giving me confidence to try on aluminum too and create a new range of doodled jewelry:

So I don't know if I'll ever feel comfortable drawing - but I do think we all need to stretch ourselves and this is definitely a stretch for me.  And you never know how learning one thing will affect other things in your life!

Go on  - try something new this week! 

If you need more inspiration, click on the links below and see how the other merry go rounders have been uncomfortable!!  We live in all different places around the world, so time differences may impact when we all get our blog post up.

Kim at Vilt a la Kim -
Sara at Crafts of Texture -  
Fabienne at Easterya Jewellery Creations -
Mariana at Florcita -
Agathe at Le Bar du Vent -
Lily at Lily Pang Art and Design -
Mitsy at ArtMind - unable to join in this month -


Easterya said...

I am in awe! This is so inspiring!! And the impact on your 3D jewellery is fantastic, your new skills are really bringing your birds to life!! Fantastic read, thank you!!

Florcita said...

I think your sketches are great! I love the changes of their expressions and how their emotion is truly conveyed just by using feathers, wings and their eyes. Love it.
And yeah... cartooning has added your metal work an extra... or pushed it forward!

Vilt à la Kim said...

I think your drawings look good!! I am sooo bad with animals and sizes. I always have a head way to big or legs too long....
Great to see you can use it in your itmes too!

vilterietje said...

Great work! I love your cartoons, your jewellery and the rest! Keep drawing you're a talent.
Love, Riet (from Kims blog)

meherio68 said...

It's really interesting that your experience with cartooning has already influenced your "comfort zone" work. In a great way!
But I love that hedgehog anyway.

Ruth said...

Thank you all for your encouragement! Maybe I won't throw all my pencils away yet!!! long it is affecting my other art - I can cope with feeling uncomfortable for a little longer! It's been interesting to read the other merry go round blogs and see how we all grow from trying new things.

Sara's Texture Crafts said...

Wow, I love that you have taken yourself completely out of your comfort zone... my forays have been somewhat tame by comparison. I think it's great that you have used your new, growing skill to inform your work too and I love the results! My favourite is the bird jumping for joy.