State of the Art: Process and Progress

Sometimes I get the urge to try something new, and I’ll dive headfirst into mucking about and letting myself play with the thing. This is essentially what happened with this piece. I had an idea, a sketch, and plans for lighting. Instead of feeling the old anxiety of needing to get it perfect on the first try (despite never having done the thing before), I was excited to just try it out and learn as I went. It was a really nice feeling, and I learned a lot!

This year I have a lot of goals for myself. Probably too many goals, unsurprisingly, but there’s so much I want to try! Animation, embroidery, different watercolor techniques, color theory, website design – it’s all fascinating and fun! I’m going to do my best to take these things in stages, like this piece. Map it out, fill in blocks bit by bit, mess up and fix things, then pull it all together. I’ll probably still have anxious days where I beat myself up for not getting something perfect the first time, but if I keep focusing on the mindset of progress over perfection, those days will gradually happen less and less. 

I hope you’re being kind to yourselves, friends. What helps you when you’re feeling insecure about your process? What new things have been bringing you joy lately?

Author: Katie McMahon

Katie is a comic artist and illustrator living in rural New Hampshire in a town mostly populated with elderly folks and roving gangs of sassy turkeys. She enjoys reading comics, playing board games and RPGs, drinking fair trade tea and coffee, discussing feminism and social justice, and cracking the best groan-worthy jokes the internet has to offer.

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