draw; a @somethinganniething annual summary
Hi friends. As always, it’s been longer than I care to feel guilty for since the last time I posted here. I had a lot of goals at the beginning of the year that didn’t end up happening this particular year, because I underestimated the energy level it would take to do all the travel I had to do.
One of those goals was to do a finished art piece every day, which is how @somethinganniething was born. It eventually turned into more of a sketchbook situation, where I was to post at least daily for at least a year. I hit that goal, but even a drawing a day was a lot more work than I had originally thought it would be. I’m occasionally unhappy with a post, but I think it was a really good habit to get into to draw and be accountable for that minimal amount of drawing every day no matter what time zone or country I happened to be in.
On that note, this comeback post will be about the drawing habits I’ve developed, the usual subjects I ended up choosing, and about the fact that, even though this turned into something that I did not intend to do at the beginning of setting these goals, I am proud and won’t shy from celebrating that I’ve continued a whole year’s of daily drawings. I don’t think I was even drawing daily when I was in university.
Overall I think I’ve always drawn in very many ways with very many things. In 2017 I let myself get back into things that I didn’t let myself enjoy during university for various reasons, and specifically getting back into anime has effected how I look at what I consider to be a finished piece of art. Even something that isn’t so finished has had one or two iterations before I post, which I wasn’t doing when I was at school.
I think for a lot of years while I was studying I had forgotten that it was kind of never my intention to specialise in drawing animation. This isn’t to say I didn’t like it, because I became quite obsessive with the craft quite quickly, but I never had any intention to step out of one environment to step straight into something else that was practically the same environment. It’d take a lot more explanation to clarify that point but that’s where I’m leaving it.
Animation helped me find a lot of myself but also lost me in an obsessive wave of content creation. I quite clearly lost who I was in favour of blending into a group that I held with high regard – and maybe that’s what I needed at the time. Maybe that’s what everyone in the group needed at the time. I realised strangely recently that I really don’t need that anymore, and that I can proceed on my own towards something even if I’m not sure what it is, or am creatively alone.
Luckily, @somethinganniething never became a daily journal. I was afraid at one point that it might, and that I would only be able to refer to it as strictly personal reflection. There are posts where I’m definitely sad, but not enough of them as a whole to say that the account is only about that.
That being said, much of it is observational drawing. The top 6 subject matters of the year were (unranked): hands & body parts, Macy (@macythegreyt), places I’ve been & seen, selfies, @nguyensatran, and other travellers. Let’s talk about that.
I drew a lot of myself in 2017, which isn’t really news at all. I like drawing myself, because I’m allowed to make myself as ugly as I like. To step back into drawing a relatively realistic style was real strange after so many years of minimal line usage and cutting back on detail.
I remember taking the illustration media elective for the first time and remembering that I didn’t have to work on projects all the time. What a rush, honestly.
On an absolute basic level, looking at this many variations of my own self portraits gives me a vague sense of how I see myself.
I’m considering only posting self portraits to @somethinganniething next year. I’ve got a day to decide.
I’m mildly infatuated with hands, and have been for a long while. The most common comment I get with my hand zines and stickers is how remarkably hard they are to draw, which I don’t find at all. I’m pretty sure the fascination started with when I watched a lot of anime, which overemphasises hand positions (an understatement, honestly). I practiced drawing hands and eyes more than anything else, which is why I’m a fraction better at those two body parts. Nothing else quite fits right.
In 2017 my body part fascination extended to my own point of view. I drew a lot of my own body from where I could see it, realising that no one else saw me this way. I have never had issue with how I looked, and while I know I have a level of weight privilege a lot of it I think also comes down to not really having friends in my earlier teenage years to give me any pressure to look a certain way. Somehow the part of me that, at first couldn’t, and then wouldn’t dress like everyone else was never ridiculed, so it never went away.
I went to a lot of places this year. Here are some of them. Some of these are also drawings of places I never had time to draw in person from when I was in Europe. I no longer think that drawing from photos is bad. Why did I have that association? What a weird thing to think.
I have a massive back log of photographs from the past couple of years of things I’ve already drawn but would like to draw again. Honestly, I need to clean out my phone photos. There’s over 12000 in there, at least half of which are just multiple photos of the same thing to get the best one. Why am I like this?
Soon I will do a zine about all the places I’ve seen.
One of the most wonderful things about public transport is getting to see what kind of other people exist simultaneously with me in this space, I think. On the rare occasion I do inevitably get harassed it dampers the thought, but I am in general quite fascinated with regular people traveling. Sometimes I draw them because I like the way they look, or stand, or frown.
Since starting a regular commute I do my best to catch the exact train that’s between wild amounts of people so I can sit down to draw the people sharing my carriage. The morning commute is really surreal sometimes.
Other things in this collection are people on planes, people in museums, and people shopping.
I don’t want to get grossly cute. I really don’t.
If anything it’s a little unavoidable to be drawn when dating someone who draws. Nguyen Sa likes to be drawn but isn’t the most comfortable posing, which is absolutely understandable and why he’s looking away or down in most of these. I feel like I’ve drawn him quite successfully maybe two or three times so far, but that’s in comparison to how I feel about my self portraits which is a pretty unfair comparison simply because I’ve been drawing myself for many more years.
Is it a wonder that I like Nguyen Sa’s hands? And his hair? And the swirl he has on the side of his face? Probably not. Let’s move on before this gets sappy.
And now it’s definitely time to get sappy. Drawing Macy gives me life. I’m still trying to figure out how exactly all her parts could even possibly fit together. How does she turn herself into a donut? She’s so long.
Am I obsessed with my dog? Yes, absolutely. Anyone who has ever met a greyhound (unsurprisingly not many have) will know what I’m talking about when I saw that they’re all absolute sweethearts. So much of my life has changed since adopting her, and I have absolutely no regrets.
She’s so long. I’ll probably draw her tonight. How do you even draw dogs? Macy’s like if an alien heard a description of a dog and tried to draw it. I often forget what regular dogs look like. I flip out when I see small dogs now because I understand them even less.
I made a zine about Macy. I’m selling it on Etsy, you should check it out. It even comes with stickers.
This will probably be my past post of the year. If you’ve actually read up until this point, I just want to say thank you. I know that I can be erratic at the best of times, but that’s been improving significantly since I’ve stopped traveling for the moment.
It’s a relief, honestly. I’m looking forward to not being able to travel for a bit. It’s a self imposed ban (my mother wants to go to Cape Town and all of Japan next year), but it’s much needed rest.
Now all I gotta do is incorporate post here back into my schedule! One of which I now have!
Other things I also would like to do in 2018:
Get into The Etsy
Market stalls, with and without other people
Preferably a part time job w/ a freelancing situation on the side somehow
Get back into hand binding books
MAKE MORE ZINES
Make shirts, totes
Basically make a lot of stuff now that I have stuff to make them with
Figure it out, acknowledge it, move it on
Figure out that exhibition situation
Get on the sewing business
May 2018 be the year I start posting work that is a lot more refined and finished. May it be the year I get the travel rest I need to find a job I enjoy. May I finally clean my office. Wishing everyone a wonderful start to what needs to be an excellent year – the world could use one right now.
See you next year, Annie.