February 18, 2010

Celebrate with Cuteness

Question: What do you think the above creature is?

Of all the food-related drafts I have backed up, I find it amusing that I dug up my old artwork instead. It's an distant part of my life that has gotten shoved to the wayside in light of my recent food adventures. Because well, a girl needs to eat every day, but not draw. That's changed recently with the onslaught of holidays - Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras/Carnivale - thus it's been rather mind-numbing to decide what to draw in celebration. A tiger? A pink tiger cupcake? A heart-printed tiger eating a cupcake, covered in beads? It's not for lack of trying that I ended up scrapping everything.

I suppose this all started up again when I was jokingly challenged to "prove" that I was an artist. To put my paintbrush where my mouth was, so to speak. That's when I realized that I only had 3 drawings amongst 750 iPhone photos, and my DeviantART gallery is pushing 5 years' history with no recent activity. I've been in private art classes since I was 8, have never skipped a single year of public school art education from K-12, and used to enter numerous art competitions. So what happened? Did I open my mouth, expand my stomach, and chop off my hands?

It really took someone saying, "I'LL PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE IF YOU DON'T DO SOMETHING WITH THIS TALENT!" to jolt me awake. That certainly felt like a verbal punch to the face, in the best way. It made me start thinking more about why I wandered away from art, and if it really was an act of sacrifice. Food blogging and digital illustration don't strike most people as an instant fit, especially since I don't draw food, and photography is not my artistic strong point. I know I enjoy and take pleasure in doing both, even though it's hard to compare the skill level or audience feedback between the two.

After considering it for awhile, I don't think that I necessarily gave one interest up in place of another. I think there are certain basic elements that remain the same, such as having a distinctive voice/style, pouring passion into the work, acceptance and even anticipation of unknown results, and above all, the desire to share and delight to the best of your abilities.

Ever since I boiled it down to that simple list, I've been progressively more open about my artistic background. I even drew manatees the other night for Robyn, a catharsis which might've been just as pleasing as the food (though piling plates of pork belly are hard to dispute). What I'm really wondering is if anyone else has gone through the same dilemma. In pursuit of one particular, seemingly incompatible passion, did something else have to give way? Does one role necessarily have to be stripped away to take on another, or was this due to neglect or laziness?

In any case, the image up there is an old drawing of mine that popped out to me from my dusty files because it seemed fitting for this recent slew of holidays. So here's to nostalgia, following passions, and uh, bunnies.

Answer: It's a "Celebration Dimples", the name of a bunny-like mascot for my now defunct Minishop.

1 comment:

  1. I feel like that is totally normal. When I started college, and was focused on apparel/fabric design solely, my art took a major backseat. Seems backwards, right? But it happened. Even same as you, having done art all through school, somehow the passion was left behind a bit in college.

    I believe a lot of it is sheer capacity - as much as we may love something, our brains and bodies simply can't keep up. But, at the same time, I think learning to find that balance is key in life. A key that many of us, if ever learn, only do so with a bit more experience under our belt. Just don't worry, you're not alone in this. ;)