As some of you may have noticed, my 30-day challenge ended yesterday. It's been a new experience for me, I think I haven't created so many artworks in such a short time-span before... not even back in 2006 when I started out. Anyways... where did those 30 days go? I thought it would feel like an eternity but suddenly I was halfway through, and then it was over and it feels like almost no time has passed
Shout out to Silvia- C-91
, she inspired me to do the challenge. I also liked how she made her challenge artworks all in one style, so I stole that idea as well!
I based all 30 fractals on my Underwater style. Some tweaks are pretty close to it, others are more outlandish but they all share the same base. So if you'd like to try to create something similar, I encourage you to check out my tutorial
Here are some random thoughts, things I've learned during the challenge. Maybe someone will find my ramblings helpful
This is pretty standard question I get on regular basis: what is the source of your inspiration? I get why people ask fractal artists this question, I think it's because abstract art is pretty hard to decode. Looking back at the challenge, I can see 2 distinct sources of inspiration: music and love. I've been listening to lots of new music lately, mostly prog rock/metal, some prog/black and blackgaze stuff. I've always found so much comfort in music, perhaps too much to bother with stepping out of my comfort zone and trying out new things. I think I've been pretty good at stepping out of my comfort zone, lately. Both in music, and in feelings.
So if you're struggling with inspiration sources, or find yourself in the infamous art block situation, I suggest you try out new things, indulge something you wouldn't typically indulge. It doesn't have to be art-related.
One flame can be enough
As I said, all 30 pieces were made from the same base. I think that with right flame that has enough flexibility, choosing one flame and building upon it is a great idea. I felt like Underwater was pretty much exhausted flame, that I'm done with it. Turns out I only just scratched the surface. I probably wouldn't pick something like grand julian style, because that would take some serious breaking to keep coming up with new stuff for 30 days, but maybe even that would be doable. This definitely forced me to experiment a lot, try out new things. I hit a dead end here and there, but nothing that could put an end to the challenge.
If you really want to learn one particular style and go further with it, this is an excellent choice. Or, you can go the very opposite way and try a new tutorial/style every day
A friend asked me if I don't sacrifice quality when posting so often, which definitely made me pause. I've always uploaded so little because I do worry about quality. I tend to sit on an artwork for a good while before uploading it, and I discard many during this process as not good enough to share with the world. I did upload several pieces during the challenge that felt kinda meh or too weird, definitely pieces I'd discard otherwise. Ironically enough, some of them ended up being quite popular, while some artworks I considered good ended up unnoticed. This has definitely showed me that it's impossible to "objectively" judge quality of your own artwork (and whether popularity equals quality is entirely different conversation).
I'd say I'm fairly disciplined person but I do hate when things become chore, something I have to do. It's not a problem for me to create artworks on daily basis, but the idea of the commitment is kinda off-putting. I like to do things when I feel like doing them, not when I'm forced to do them. So this has definitely been a bit of a struggle for me. At the same time I like to deliver. So when I commit to something publicly, I tend to deliver on my promises. This definitely made me think deeper about my motivations, and confirmed yet again that I'm both defiant and driven individual, and how these parts of me can clash sometimes.
The logistics of actually creating every day (and uploading) did get tiring a few times. I uploaded a cheat artwork once or twice, something I made few days earlier just in case I wouldn't have time to create that day. This wasn't a major issue but, while I always looked forward to creating something every day, sometimes I made some unwise decisions... like staying up really late when I should have gone to sleep
Burnout. At one point I felt like I seriously lack variety in final transforms and it frustrated me more than I thought it should. It did force me to use some variations I typically don't use, so it was a good thing in the end, but very difficult anyway.
Several times I got frustrated with my own emotions, because I do put a great deal of them in my artworks. My SO/muse has been incredibly patient and supportive during this process, I'm so lucky to have him. In the end, even this painful part of the challenge was actually helpful, because it made me realize certain things and move forward.
Will I do another challenge?
I might, possibly at the end of this summer. In June/July I will be too busy and exhausted because I'm switching jobs, so doing another challenge on top of that would be a bit of an overkill, even for me