Showing your work?

Hi, I’m Lee and I like to take on personal projects and set myself ridiculous expectations.  I also enjoy doing this in a very public forum until it all overwhelms me, I collapse in a heap and I need to take short breaks from it all.

I’m not sure if there is actually an organised support group for me and my kind but I assume blogging about it is the next best thing to seeking actual help.  Coming off a recent run of little projects I’ve once again found myself freaking out because the dishes need doing and I’m losing touch at home buried under a pile of things I want to do versus things that I probably should do.

They are most certainly not always done… Tupperware lids count as plates right?

So the other day I let everyone know that I’m alright and that I’m just taking a sabbatical from drawing until the life stuff settles (or we buy a dishwasher).  This, of course, lasted about three days before being told to pull my head in and to go draw something by my wife who’s job it is to worry about my mental state.  When I’m working on something I’m more pleasant to be around than when I’m not.  The difference is subtle but Tracey knows it and avoids it by sending me off to my room to sketch.

Now I’m working on a project again and it feels odd not to be sharing it with everyone.  There’s something to be said about showing your work (as outlined by Austin Kleon in his awesome book Show Your Work!) as you can form a community around you who are really supportive and encourage you to continue.  But I do worry about giving away what the finished product is going to be like and worse still not finishing stuff!  I’ve done that plenty of times and people are always pretty awesome about it but you don’t want to be the guy who’s always starting stuff and not finishing it.

But I do worry about giving away what the finished product is going to be like and worse still about not finishing things!  I’ve done that plenty of times and people are always pretty awesome about it but you don’t want to be the guy who’s always starting stuff and not finishing it.

Or maybe you do, maybe that’s the journey and as long as you’re enjoying what you’re doing and other people seem to be joining in then maybe it doesn’t matter if you never finish anything?  You’re also opening yourself up very publicly to fail or make mistakes or go down paths that you abandon and restart.

I just don’t know, I’m curious about what you guys think.  Do you prefer to see a thing taking shape or would you rather not hear about it until you see the finished thing even if that means it may not happen? 

To give you a sneak peek I’m working on an original illustration project featuring my own characters and settings and I’m trying to work out what to do with it.

A page from my sketchbook, experimenting with some ideas… arrrg

Let me know what you think in the comments of over on Twitter or Facebook.

Do you want to see a constant stream of updates or would you rather see nothing until a finished product shows up???

Header image by Freepik

#illustration#projects