Never Stop Learning

Dragonfly in Watercolors

You know what’s been driving me nuts recently? Paper surfaces!!

So I’ve been a pencil and ink kind of gal for most of my life. Until college, I rarely explored oil and acrylics, and when I worked with color, it was more of an achromatic with a focal color, or just a limited pallette to whatever markers I had at my disposal. For the most part, I worked in my sketchbook or on cardstock. Sometimes I would venture into Bristol, but very rarely. But now I’ve experienced oil painting, acrylic painting, explored watercolors and fell in love with them.

There’s such a focus on the medium, that the surface is rarely addressed.

I watch a lot of YouTube. A bit because I work from home most days and have no life. But mostly because I enjoy listening to creators I admire while I work. And YouTube illustrators often list their tools. The pencils they use, the brushes they use, the paints they have, and the markers they love.

But rarely the paper.

Now I’m not one for consistency. It’s a serious problem I have and my loved ones are gracious with me. And when in school, I was never consistent with how I approached the assignments. I used everything from markers to oils to digital. For each assignment, I did something new and different.

And here’s the thing: it’s okay that I did that. It’s okay that I STILL do that. Because although how I approach an illustration is always different, my finished product is consistent. And ultimately, that’s what matters.

And at any stage in a creative field, you should be learning and growing. My inconsistency is a fault of mine, but it’s also a strength. I’m constantly trying new and different things. I come back to what I love – pen and pencil – but I’m never going to shy away from new techniques and new ways f approaching problems. I’m not a consistent person, but I work through where that lies as a fault and embrace where that is a strength.

I still haven’t found a type of paper that I enjoy working with. I hope I’ll find some soon. But with each type of paper I try or recommendation that I explore, one thing stays true: never stop learning.

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