- some peers and also Dan Dos Santos gave me feedback which amounted to 'you are really in your comfort zone/you're better than this/push harder push harder', and when I went back to the thumbnails I came to the realization that I just... had nowhere to go with them. There's a lot of emotional exhaustion tied up in them, both from the timing of having my awful crash on the same day as the assignment email came out, and from the fact that I just don't like A Midsummer Night's Dream to begin with, really - and I decided that discretion was the better part of valor.
Also contributing to the decision to abandon/step away from my Midsummer illustration was my acceptance to Light Grey Art Lab's October show, Rolemodels. The piece for it is due mid-July, and if I had waited to start on it until after I returned from the IMC, I would have had less than a month to do it from thumbs to finish, coming off of a week that last year not only left me exhausted, but also emptied my artistic tank down to nothing.
Beyond the way that the timing works for doing the Rolemodels piece at the IMC, it's an image I'm really, really excited about. I was already exhausted by Midsummer and I hadn't even gotten out of the thumbnail stage - but every stage of this piece so far has been nothing but inspiring.
The show itself is for D&D-type fantasy self-portraits, with all of the artists being one of several classes and having to represent themselves through that context. I'm a paladin in this case, a religious warrior, and I (being spiritual but very non-religious) was shocked to find a D&D-canon deity that really did fit: The Path of Light, more philosophy than god, which holds its adherents to honing their personal skill and following the light.
As I was thumbnailing I found myself drawn again and again to the struggle of following that light - I shied away from triumphant poses (that one thumb aside) and focused on the journey. The thing about the thumb I chose, the thing about the sketch I did, is that I feel in it the exhaustion that I know intimately, but also the hope and the urge to go forward.
I hope that the painting can carry that sense of weight and forward motion.