I like to assemble compilations of my drawings. Seeing them all together at once like this shows progress over the last nine drawings. Nine more drawings means already a month's worth of drawings are now on the Drawing a Day blog.
When you set yourself the challenge to post work daily, you begin to see a body of work growing, and it happens quite fast. (The work gets automatically archived at the same time - bonus!) It's part of the beauty of blogging.
Without this kind of commitment, I tend to make drawings, put them away in a drawer and forget about them. It's useful to have the opportunity to review work on a continuous basis on a blog. It's a bit like having one huge, luxury studio where you can see all your work laid out in front of you, pick out the interesting stuff to move forward and discard the not-so-good.
It's not always perfect. This drawing, no. 24, was a fail. It had been a long day and I hadn't yet made my drawing by the evening. I had made the commitment to post, and the only option was to multi-task (something I never normally do) so I drew while I was eating my dinner. I couldn't get it together. I fell back on my 'toolbag' of things to draw, it didn't come together and I got spaghetti bolognese sauce all over the drawing. It was late and there was no way anything else was going to happen, so that's what I published - a failed drawing, and I announced it to the world as a Fail. The old self-conscious me would have fainted. You know what? - people liked it anyway! I think people like to see the human behind the work (I know I do). The thing about making your boundaries porous by going public and sharing is that you eventually start to get useful feedback.
I often post my drawings on Instagram (@heatherelizawalker) and the other day I got this lovely bit of feedback from Nancy Smith @artloversnewyork:
"Now, there's a drawing that lives 1/2 way between illustration & 1/2 between cartoon work ... tarot card that just wafted in over the internet ... I wish you were an emoji so I could say: Trippin gentle."
Honestly, I've had some great reviews in my time, but Nancy Smith - that's my favourite, thank you so much! It's a lovely example of how opening up your work to the world can give you something valuable back in return.
If you haven't already got it, here's a good book to read on sharing your work. It's by Austin Kleon and it's full of good advice and encouragement about how to share well (not like my blunderings around on the internet!)
Show Your Work is available at Amazon here or at Austin Kleon's blog.
Heather Eliza Walker
Artist in Edinburgh, Scotland