a new direction

drawing is a familiar skill to me. i've been taking it seriously for almost my entire life. even when i was a kid, i was taking extracurricular art classes and wanted to learn the fundamentals of drawing. without art, without drawing, i don't know who i would be. but despite all of my hard work... i don't feel like a competent artist at all.

before someone jumps in and tells me that i'm being too hard on myself: please just hear me out.

i've been at it for nearly 20 fucking years, and i feel like i have very little to show for it. every drawing feels like an uphill battle, where i'm fighting for my life. i get physically exhausted easily because of a disability, so i can't even draw for very long. basic concepts still frustrate and elude me. something as simple as "being able to imagine objects from different angles and drawing them" is nearly impossible for me. it's humiliating!

it doesn't really help that i have aphantasia, which means i can't envision anything in my head at all. the closest i can get is very vague blobs of color that disappear after half a second. so any time i want to sit down and draw something, i have to bring up at least half a dozen photo references. it's tedious. it takes a long time. even the simplest drawings exhaust me.

and believe me, i have been working hard for many years to figure out solutions to make drawing less of a nightmare. i've tried so many things! just to list a few: i've optimized my workflow to minimize tedium, set boundaries and expectations for what i can or can't do, i've tried sitting down and studying harder, and when that instantly burns me out and frustrates me, tried to relax and focus on having fun instead of whether i'm drawing "well" or not. i've taken breaks, i've tried committing to drawing regularly so i don't lose my momentum. and that's just a few of the things i've tried.

it's heartbreaking. i've devoted my entire life to the art of drawing, and... i mostly feel unfulfilled, frustrated, and unable to work. this feeling has been haunting me for years, and i've been desperate to find a way out of this mess.

then, somewhat recently, it hit me. maybe i don't have to make drawing my primary focus...? maybe drawing could be something i do for myself first and foremost, and not something i aim to do for a living. so the next question i had was, "what else, then? what else could i realistically do?"

i struggled to answer that question for a while. but lately, i've been working on my "Rose Eclipse" color scheme more. i wanted to polish the color choices, write more documentation, maybe make it something more official that other people could adopt and use. i don't assume that many people will be interested in it, but it's been a fun project for me to work on.

so as i work on Rose Eclipse, i've been researching how to design effective color systems. studying design has been really interesting and fulfilling; i love thinking about how to make something aesthetically appealing and interesting, yet intuitive for someone to use. and... i think this is something that i want to seriously pursue.

really, i've always enjoyed thinking about designs and how they work; whether it's for the web, user interfaces, print, color schemes, etc etc. and in college - about 10+ years ago now - i really thought seriously about pursuing graphic design as a career option. i took as many classes as my college offered, which wasn't many, but i was desperate to learn. but the heavy focus on marketing and corporations turned me off, and i wasn't really able to put my finger on why until many years later.

and... that's still going to take some reconciling. i'm not quite sure how to confront how deeply entwined design work is with commercialism, and how i feel about it. but so much about color systems and graphic design just makes sense to me. it doesn't feel like i'm fighting an uphill battle, struggling to do anything. it feels... doable. interesting, even.

i have a lot of studying to do, but for once, i'm not dreading it. i feel excited, eager to learn more. that's something i haven't felt in a very long time. i don't know where this direction will take me, but i'm curious to keep going down this path.