self-deprecation + roller derby 5

Kate Beaton, whom I admire an awful lot, said to me yesterday– and the whole rest of Twitter, but she answered one of my tweets about it!– that she really hates it when people are self-deprecating about their art.

People who are timid about their skills often call autobio comics ‘my boring life’ or a series ‘my stupid comic’ and that is the worst idea.

@[mytwitter] it’s a crutch and an excuse, making something you hope people will like and pretending not to care. Be proud of your work! What I mean is, labeling comics as ‘sucky’ right away is a crutch to use for fear of criticism. You care about it, put pride in it, improve….

I think those people try to be modest and safe, but don’t realize how much of the same thing is out there or how tiring it is.

I think she really has a point, here– and not just because I like her comics so much, honestly. My drawing is not yet all that great, but I think I ought to stop apologizing for it all the time. Saying “I need to work on my foreshortening” is one thing, going “yeah yeah my art is crap I know it’s crap” is quite another. And I should stop calling my art “art” with quotes around it, because that is just doofy.

It’s actively difficult for me not to apologize for myself all the time– to look at a piece of art I’m not happy with and go “this is the next step on the way to eventual awesomeness” and not just “this thing I made is crap.” But I am going to try!

Have some derby girls, folks.

I’m really tremendously pleased with the first girl; the second came out a bit odd– her thighs are too long, I think– and for some reason, when I tried to shade her limbs as well as just her clothes, the drawing came out looking less accurate. Not sure why that is! I think drawing elbow pads and articulating the hands a bit is making a surprising lot of difference, though.

I like doing figures of people I can only partly see. The third girl I drew here, for example, whose right shoulder and hip were hidden behind the first girl in the original photo; she came out a bit blobby around the shoulders and arms, but her legs look great, and it pleases me how obvious it is that she’s shoving over against someone else. Drawing from sight is a good thing to know, but having to guess at parts of a figure means I have to actually think about what I’m doing and how people move. (So, for that matter, is posting here, which obliges me not only to upload pictures but to actually have something to say about them.)


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