Saturday, November 4, 2017

Why I Stopped Drawing

It's not like I intended to, but in practice, that is what happened. There are zero drawings I've published this year, and what I have drawn, has been of no significance.

I guess a partial reason would be my accumulating wrist injuries, but while pain may train me not to draw, in a Pavlovian sense, it's not the primary reason.

At some point, I started tracking how much time I was taking, while drawing. It was a surprising amount. When drawing, I often entered the flow state, lost my sense of time, and often found I had puttered around with a particular drawing for hours, often past midnight.

Now, this is obviously a good, if not a great thing, for an artist, in some sense. Not in a business-sense, perhaps, but creatively. However, I didn't realize that.

Back when I tried to do a comic on a regular weekly schedule, I began tracking my time-use, mainly to make sure I was actually putting in some hours. This had an unfortunate side effect of me noticing a single panel might take me about 8 hours to draw, plus whatever time was required to edit it later on. Considering a single page has on average five panels, this was basically... not unsustainable, but I was also trying to study at the time.


I will graduate one of these years. But, I digress.

Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't track your work, it's just... be aware of potential unintended consequences, and don't aim for the wrong goal.

Lesson learned: Don't try to be efficient in doing something you love. Just be effective, and enjoy.

Some declarations:
Best free traditional animation application for Windows is Plastic Animation Paper 4.0 Pro. Although, Blender's Grease Pencil comes close. Blender's Grease Pencil is also pretty decent, and it has an integrated dope sheet and all. Blender should be great on zooms and pans and such. Also, Blender's 2.8 is due to have some hefty improvements on the 2d side of things.

Best sprite animation application is ASEprite. The thing that comes closest is Piskel. You can work with GraphicsGale, but I don't think it comes close.

Beyond that, humble Paint.Net is decent for a lot of pixel work. I have three versions of OpenCanvas for painting. (Thanks, Ben!)

Krita is still under evaluation. Synfig... it's rendering seems, bad, basically.