Lessons from creating daily art – rushed work, works in progress, and really good digital artwork

I am going to use this post as a bit of the State of the Union of the Digital Art Ranch, lets call it State of the Ranch.  As one might have noticed posts have trailed off quite considerably since April-May.

I started in January with the goal of posting some sketch or painting or whatever every day for the whole year.  I kept strong for about 4 months then decided to change things up a bit and focus on some bigger projects.  Ultimately the artwork that went down in this time frame fell into 3 categories.

1 – Just terrible, rushed work.

2- Works in progress of digital artwork that I couldn’t get done in just one day

3- Really good digital art work that I am happy to share


So, lets get right to it and talk about it.


Just Terrible, Rushed art work




Yep, a lot I did was not so hot.  I never embarked on this thing to churn out amazing work every single day, but I found that I was going through the motions a lot of days and it actually made me feel worse about creating art than better.  Now, there is some value here since with art the mistakes are awesome learning points.  The more mistakes = the more you learn.  So there was definitely a value add in sticking with it.  Another thing I learned here was how intensive it can be to keep up daily posting schedule.  A lot of days it took me longer to format the post, share, comment, and all that inter-tube nonsense than it actually took making the art.  It was a giant time killer and I learned maybe a daily post schedule was not the way to do it.  I also found some more automated processes in order to free up some of that time.

Ultimately this sort of work is good to do, warm ups, daily sketches, whatever works but it might be a giant waste of time posting it online and dealing with that sort of deadline on what I consider studies.


Works in progress of digital artwork that I couldn’t get done in just one day




Frankly, these were some of my favorite posts.  I had the same problem as above though, the time I spent writing, formatting, posting, all that sort of thing was time that I could have spent moving the project forward.  What I liked most about these though were the feedback on facebook and twitter – great suggestions and good support.  I learned that these types of posts are much more constructive than posting half-baked “finished” drawings.  I will continue to post more on these.



I will be posting more of this type of work going forward.  Its fun, I get to share the process, maybe some art students out there can see creation in the real world.  Also, people how follow me can just see how I get from point A to B as pure curiosity.



Really good digital art work I am happy to share



So, this was the most fun.  Getting something done in one day, posting it, and my audience and me both feeling that it turned out great.  I can pick about 10 that fit this category and they all share one thing in common.  they took about 6-8 hours to create and definitely do not fit a post every day sort of deadline.  Sure, its great when it works out, but holding myself to this time commitment along with a new puppy, a nearly 5 year old daughter, and a wife to love and cherish just is not feasible long term.  I have a family to take care of.  I have a job during the day that I like, pays well, and I need to focus on doing well there until the well runs dry in my industry (more on that later).  I would be better off posting as works in progress and posting the final at the end of the week.



This is the ultimate goal gang, creating really awesome ART!  But, it takes time and making a daily deadline for really awesome artwork just is not the way to go.  I would rather post 4 really cool artworks in a month than 30 really crappy ones.



End Game, What Did I Learn and What is Next?

So, what did I learn from creating daily digital art?  Its really awesome.  Its really time consuming, and there is a productive way to do it, and an unproductive way to do it.  I am close to finalizing an action plan that both provides good, frequent posts and maximizes my time so I can continue to focus on new work.

Speaking of new work – I have a LOT of projects lined up right now that are truly exciting.  There are plenty of things to look forward to as we wind into the 2nd half of 2014.  I wont spill all of the beans here but some things going on

More Traditional Painting on Canvas – you know, custom art one can touch and feel.
More Works in Progress and a weekly final outcome of a finished digital art work created.
More Posts about the process, about what I am learning and what I can do to share that with others
Possibly opening up a Patreon campaign where you can fund my progress – its really cool guys I will share more later
Maybe, just maybe a weekly podcast sharing my insights, tips and tricks, art news, music news, all that sort of good stuff.

Thanks for reading/listening.  Onward and Upward!