When is Your Creative Window?

"Working Outdoors" Austin, 2019
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/400 sec, ISO100
“Working Outdoors” Austin, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Ever since high school (oh so many years ago) I’ve been creating visually. Back then, it was drawing and painting, which I continued until I graduated from college with an art degree. When I started working, I shifted to a digital medium and graphic design, and that is pretty much what I continue to do, quite happily.

But only within the past few years have I realized that I am way more productive in the mornings – the window of heightened creativity starts from when I arrive at work and lasts for maybe four hours or so, sometimes less, but rarely more. With that newly-found knowledge, I’ve been able to do better work, more efficiently than before. So when I have a particularly challenging project, I’ll block off the morning so I can concentrate.

It’s really a waste of time to be stuck in meetings during this morning window. In fact, I’ll bring my laptop and work on projects during those morning meetings if I need to, and I don’t feel guilty about doing that. It’s for the good of the team, and honestly, my strengths are not planning meetings or analyzing metrics. (Some of my co-workers are excellent at that sort of thing, so I’ll let the experts have their time)

It seems silly that my younger self used to think that creativity (at least my own) happens at the same level at all times of the day. It actually can come to me in the afternoon or evenings as well, but I’d say that the mornings are the time I can actually count on and plan for. But once those four hours are over, it’s pretty much gone for the rest of the work day, and I’ll shift to tasks that require less creativity, or at least more formulaic problem-solving.

It’s kind of interesting to be working on a project and then feel the creative juices start to dry up. It makes me wonder what chemicals in the brain are being depleted. Some days, it seems like my window is open for a shorter amount of time, but I haven’t thought about if I was working more intensely or not. I’ll try to note that in the future.

Anyway, I’m sure other creative-type people have creative windows too, but maybe some can go 24/7?! I wonder how that works? 😄

I hope you had a nice Monday!

またね〜

Tonight’s Sketch

"2019.02.06 Sketch"
“2019.02.06 Sketch”

Having a ton of fun with Procreate and the iPad! I think I am improving… little by little. At any rate, I am enjoying the process. 😀

Here’s the time-lapse video:

And here’s a little different version of a previous sketch:

"Dark Portrait"
“Dark Portrait”

Loving the Variety of Art Tools in Procreate

"Rough Sketch" Cedar Park, 2019
“Rough Sketch” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

I’ve really been enjoying creating little bits of digital artwork on the iPad using Procreate. It’s a lot of fun trying out all the different brushes, and even creating my own versions. I definitely gravitate to the inks, but I usually start my sketches with the 6B pencil, then switch to a new layer to use the ink pens.

One really cool thing is that you can easily draw perfect circles in Procreate – after drawing the oval, just hold the pencil a bit longer, and the oval will reshape itself into a circle. This is so convenient for starting the basic shape of a face. I love it!

Right now, there are two subjects I am practicing with Procreate. One of the subjects is landscapes with watercolor effect, and the other is the stylized portraits, like tonight’s sketch. For this one, I went with a thick ink brush, in a loose style, then used the smudge tool to blend the edges a bit. I like how the hair turned out, and although the face is not as detailed as some of my other sketches, I liked trying a new thing. The big eyes and tiny mouth and nose makes a fun style!

I think I’ll keep this version, but duplicate it and work on it some more. Just another fun thing you can do when you work digitally. 😀

I hope you had a nice day!

またね〜