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Guilt Free Planning: Finished the Manga drawing book and starting a new book...

Goal: was to complete all the 131 drawings in this book, and I finally finished all the drawings in the  'How to Draw Manage in Simple Steps by Yishan Li. It got complicated towards the end, and I got a bit bored but I pushed through.  Below are my copies of the final illustrations.

Start Date: 9th March 2019  Completion Date: 27 April 2019

Background: I love picking up instructional books, there is something empowering about them and I feel my life would change but more often than not it's just a 'pick me up' to be tossed in the corner and never used again (if I bought a copy), or returned to the library - unused.

But having discovered an article called a guilt-free plan, I decided to start small and use this book to see. I put in all this post, including a plan.

Reflect and review of goal

What went well.

Once I'd outline a plan I felt committed to doing it, even though there was no reward other than completing the book, I had a nagging feeling when I did nothing. So during my free time, I drew. I also become less precious about whether the drawings looked like the book's examples because after a while it dawned on me the instructor was a professional with years and year of practice. Basically, I threw precision and perfection out of the window, and just drew.

I pushed myself through the boring drawings or ones I didn't particular like. Normally, I'd have skipped or procrastinated when it got to difficult or tedious parts but I kept going.

What didn't go well.

Embracing my imperfect often rubbish drawings was hard. I was very self-critical during the beginning, in fact it was only mid-way after sixty odd drawings, I became comfortable.  

I realised my weak areas such as proportion, and perspective. Also drawing swirls, curves and loops. Then at some point, I just focused on the goal of completion, so there was a phase when I ceased to do any inking (colouring in), it was purely sketching with pencil and black ink, or whatever I had around.

At some point, I just raced to the end, surpassing my inner critic on the presentation of the pictures I drew.

Learnings & Takeaways

  • Making the plan was the easiest and most enjoyable part of the journey. I guess that's why most of us have lots and lots of unfilled plans. Plans also make things conceptually a lot easier and simpler than they are. Following and keeping to the plan is a different ball game - I got so bored at time.
  • Reviewing and reflecting is important so I  could adjust the plan. I found this was very good, especially when I got bored or missed days, I would go and review my plan, tick off the drawings I'd done, then look at the dates. Sometimes, I'd have to adjust the dates or make a mental note to keep up.
  • Focusing on the main goal was important. At times, I got distracted or a little down that my drawings looked very poor but I had to remember the main goal was completing the book. 
  • One goal of a kind is good enough. I started off thinking I do go about three drawing books at a time but soon realised that was a planner's dream.  Now I realise because I loved planning stage (without executing them), I would plan my time because it seemed so simple on paper but in reality it was too much. So one drawing book.

Next Drawing Goal

Task: Complete all 260 drawings in How to Draw Anything by Mark Linley
By When: 24th November.This is the very latest time  because I've already reached drawing 49, I only have 211 drawing left. So if I did one drawing a day it would take me 211 days.  However I expect it will be much quicker maybe half that time so end of August maybe even earlier, depending on how simple and interesting the drawings are.
Not included: There are assignments in the book, which I'm skipping as they will add on about 100 more drawings. However if I'm making good time, I may include them.
My starting point: drawing 49

Steps Backwards

  • Show my final piece and the book on this blog
  • return my book the library
  • draw my final piece
  • Review and reflect regularly.
  • Draw at least one day, 

A minimum of one drawing a day, seven a week, and making up when I miss the target. Perhaps I should have monthly reviews to see where I am. Or maybe when I'm done.

That's it...well I have a few more drawing books waiting for me to complete them, but one at a time...


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