When I was a kid I couldn't figure out which of my hands was the dominate and it wouldn't have mattered much because I couldn't tell my right from my left most of the time. Writing a sentence was a challenge until a few of my teachers got together and spent considerable time helping me retrain my chaotic mind to control my limbs. I still suck at Street Fighter.
I've been working on doing the Artwork for a game for the Windows Phone with a friend. I've been a doodler since I was small because I was told that anything I did to train my hands would help me overcome my disability. I wasn't very imaginative back then so it was all Transformers and thinly veiled replicas of my favorite comic book heroes.
I was talking to my business partner and friend last night about the progress in the game when he told me he'd handed it off to someone he works with. Every time he does that my heart sinks a little bit because like most creatives I thrive on the thing I fear most, criticism. So far, including what was described to me last night, everyone likes the artwork for the game. That's a big deal for me because I've only been doing digital artwork for a year.
My cousin posted a blog to his google plus stream that had been maintained by a gentlemen who started at ground zero and eventually transformed himself into a remarkable artist. I haven't posted a lot of my work because I'm self conscious about it, but the blog made me go back and look at the work I'd done in the last year.
I've painted/drawn/rendered Master Red, a character in our game, dozens of times trying to get him to look right. I wanted him to portray magnetism and intelligence like so many of the good people I associate with on a daily basis. I wanted he and the other two masters to be inspiring when the player sees them on the screen of their phone and receive their mission orders.
I'll have to go back through all my files and find some for Masters Blue and Green, and some of the other characters we've introduced over time. I'm beginning to see why keeping your old artwork is as important as keeping your old writing. Looking back I can see a lot of things I did right day 1 and things I still do wrong to this very moment.
When I'm simply told "this is awesome" it does little to help me refine this skill I've had to reach out to. It does a lot to keep me going though because drawing is extremely tiring for me and I think has been the source of a lot of my eye strain recently. Any fuel to carry on burns the same, and I'm grateful.