2019 My Year As an Artist

I

First, I need to clarify I have never perceived myself as an artist ever.

Since my career path, study, education, and all the situations in my life kept me on the side of logical thinkings.

Whenever I have to choose or doing something. I always think given the benefits of that product, quality, and the proper application for a specific use. I didn’t look in the way of beauty look or with an artist’s eyes.

And I, still, am that person until these days.

I don’t know how to create a beautiful product. I don’t know how to decorate things. All of my friends know that well.

I was always the person in a group that least knowing how to dress nicely or decorate the room or doing a beautiful PowerPoint presentation. (I can do it nicely/effectively but when I compare it to my friend’s. I found theirs looked better than mine.)

You probably notice about my website. I chose the theme that needs the fewest decoration skills :D. Because I know that I don’t do well out of the designing stuff.

II

But! I like to see the beautiful artwork. To create a nice one is a different story though.

I also find it fun sometimes to challenge myself about drawing and using colors. Because I was terrible at matching colors. So I wanted to improve my ability on that part.

Last two years, I joined the challenge on Instagram (while I was using Instagram back then.)

I placed myself into the portrait challenge to see how it would go.
The challenge was supposed to complete 100 days (to graduate.)

At that time, I also had another question in my mind. That how long does it take us to build a new habit? Because many books and online teaching stated that 21 days would make the habit stick. Which I didn’t believe.

I was researching, reading all the articles that I could find. But I wasn’t satisfied with the result I got.

For me, 21-day is so brief. (Okay, some source might say three around months?) I don’t believe one person could change their personal or habit within this short period.

As I came across this challenge, 100 days. I thought this would be another way to prove it myself. How will it take me after 21 days?

So I started right away. I chose to do art because of the reason I told above. It was completely new to my knowledge. I didn’t learn anything about creating art pieces in any art school or course. (Except for the art class in school when I was a child, which was nothing.)

So this is the complete self-experiment about a new habit and new skill: how long one can build up?
How long does it take us to feel comfortable to do it?
And I also curious about the result of how good* my portrait I could create within the short-term period?

*I was curious about my ability. But at the same time, I knew that I could do it. I was determined. I didn’t know how I get that feeling from. But it was there. And I just needed to prove it.

III

The first 7-12 days was very tough. Because I had no idea how to draw. And I came from a scientific field.

For the first picture, I tried to measure almost everything like copying to get the right proportion. (I didn’t have all the tools. I used only what I had: an easy linear, pencil, eraser, and paper.)

It took a lot of time and I was so tired and bored doing that. Plus, the hardest part is to find a good reference picture. The better picture, the better for me to learn as a beginner.

I forced myself to do the work every single day somehow.

In the second week, I felt it was easier to draw and it took me a shorter time to complete one portrait as I gained the skill and the how-to of creating a portrait.

After just sketching and drawing. I started to color my portrait.

(Note: to join this challenge, you have to create a portrait a day. No matter with painting or just sketching. But end of the day, you had to deliver.)

Some days I had other tasks, so I just made an easy messy on the paper. It was not very nice. But I felt that I made it!

I think that what we called “showing up“. I showed up every day. I found that my work was getting better and better by the time I practiced.

IV

Until day 56th, my schedule was completely disrupted.
I could not deliver it anymore. Even I tried to get my hand back on it. But I couldn’t. The last piece I made was for the birthday of my husband’s grandma. But that was about 1-2 months following the previous one.

I had to go to a language school plus other situations at home. Things were going on under pressure. (It sounded like an excuse. Anyway, I didn’t make it to 100 days.)

V

Since I looked back. I can share with you a few important things I learned.

1) The habit doesn’t stick forever if you stop showing up even you pass the 21-day mark.

Whenever you come across the mark, once you drop it and not get back on it. It’s not called a habit anymore.

2) The more practicing, the better result.

That doesn’t indicate only the amount of time you put in. Rather the attention that you do the work.

3) One can do (definitely) anything in the world. Not only that we can do it, but we can be good at it as well (if continue practicing)!

My experiment proved that we can start anything that we want, at any time in life. It’s never too late! (I was 32 when I did this experiment.) You can be good at that work easier when you enjoy the process.

4) Working under pressure can be good or bad. Depends on what kind of pressure you are facing.

If it’s pressure from work itself, you can deal with it comfortably. And it will help you push to more results and success.

But if the pressure is related to personal events such as your surroundings, peoples, relations.

Which is hard to manage because it can’t be done with you alone. It requires compromise, which involves two people (or more). If the problem is not be solved and prolonged, it could destroy everything.

Especially the ‘home’ problem.

Because home is where your mind rests if you can’t rest. That is a disaster.

VI

Well, all I talk about artwork and (pretending) artist, but how come there’s no piece of my artwork here.

So I put up my work on the page “Artwork.”

Just click the link to see my work.


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