I knew this was coming up! I did! I even mentioned it in my last post, but for whatever reason, didn’t bother checking in to see what was going on until literally this morning, during a lull in my English class. The kids were tapping away at a vocab assignment, and I was idly monitoring them on Google Classroom, when on an absolute lark, I headed over to the A to Z Challenge Blog and realized – ah! – today was the last day to officially sign up.
So here I am, skin of my teeth. Pretty on brand, honestly.
Here’s the thing – after the last entry talking about Camp NaNoWriMo and A-to-Z Challenge, I sort of realized April is also National Poetry Month, which is it’s own thing, and while all three challenges have aspects I really want to dive into, there is no way I’m going to be able to produce polished products for three separate daily challenges.
So. I’m going to be following the NaPoWriMo blog for potential prompts and inspiration, and using Camp NaNoWriMo to outline those poems, combining the most helpful aspects (prompts/guides, and camaraderie) from both challenges, and then use A-to-Z to do another art brainstorming month – generating ideas for future art projects without the pressure of completing them in April.
All that being said, my A-to-Z Challenge theme is Aesthetics.
I’ve been on Tumblr a long time, and the amorphous concept of “aesthetics” is its own subculture over there. This is not to say aesthetics don’t exist outside of Tumblr because obviously they do (Tumblr doesn’t own “aesthetics” as a concept), but it has either invented or brought to the forefront of my consciousness (or both) aesthetics that I had never even considered as their own, defined thing, and I kind of want to explore some of them in the context of my art and/or character design.
Aesthetics are, by definition, “a set of principles underlying and guiding the work of a particular artist or artistic movement,” or, more broadly, anything dealing with beauty, or the appreciation of beauty. When I talk about aesthetics, I generally mean both – something that encompasses certain defining features (which define its aesthetic “genre,” as it were) that is beautiful to me (its aesthetic appeal).
I will be using The Aesthetic Wiki (which I found out existed, uh, today) to choose one aesthetic every day that appeals to me, give a run down of that aesthetics defining features, find some art or create a mood board that embodies said aesthetic, and do a brainstorm about how I could embody/incorporate said aesthetic into an original piece of art.
I am very, very excited for this project, not going to lie. Taking the pressure off of myself by not committing to finishing anything during April last year did a lot to free me up creatively, and led to a lot of ideas that I was quite happy with. I’m hoping to have similar success this year.
I hope to make the rounds this year and be more participatory, and I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else is blogging about.
In other news, here’s some proof that consistent practice is making me faster without sacrificing the quality of my work – the overall quality of my pieces has, I feel, gone up, but the time it takes me to complete them has certainly decreased. I started this piece Thursday night, and – with plenty of breaks which included household chores, cooking, library trips, shopping, and a beautiful day at the park with Bear – I finished this Sunday night.
The anatomy model is Jen, from JookPub Stock, and I am in love with the muted pinks, reds, and purples.
Also, yes – we finally made it to the library!! My son got his first library card – the painstaking way he slowly wrote his name on the back, like the card was sacrosanct, was incredibly endearing – and he took out his first library books on his own card, and the first library books he’s taken out at all, full stop, in two years. He got the second Dogman graphic novel (he really likes Dav Pilkey’s sense of humor, we might have to try Captain Underpants next), Where the Sidewalk Ends, and three books about inventions and engineering. I genuinely think his bag is going to be more non-fiction than fiction when it comes to leisure reading, which is fine, but very different from either Kira or I.
I have yet to add our new card number to my Libby app, so I am bookless at the moment, but will rectify that tonight. Excited to have access to books again.*
*No, I don’t need anyone to remind me how many dozens of books we own that I haven’t read yet. That’s not the point and you know it.