How Deadlines Can Help You

Most people dread deadlines. I don’t. I crave them.

Deadlines are not the end of the world. It should be a goal – a target.

I like the rush of breezing through one objective after another when the deadlines are near, and I even like the better rush I feel when those deadlines are met. It’s a big bonus when the project is done before the deadline.

It’s a matter of time management, really.

Deadlines allow you to prioritize things, and help you organize tasks so that they fall into place when they are needed, therefore making your work seem like a well-organized machine that keeps on moving until the project or task is completed.

I view deadlines as goals to be achieved, therefore, I don’t really dread them. It also helps that work is actually being done.

How can you make deadlines work for you? Here are some tips that may help you stop fearing the impending deadline:

  1. Set the deadline.
    person pinpointing pen on calendarMark your calendar, write a note of the date, and paste it on your monitor, set a reminder… or even place it as your phone’s wallpaper. Whatever you do, you need to remind yourself of your deadlines. If you plan to have a weekly blog post every Saturday, always remind yourself of it so you never forget, so your actions are aimed at that goal.
  2. Plan your work schedule.
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    What tasks need to be done first? What tasks need to be done last? If you are going to be blogging weekly, what do you need? Do you need to do some research? When must that be done? When must you start writing? When will you brew your coffee? When it comes to work schedules, it also helps to make them a bit more flexible. A tight work schedule can be just as stressful as deadlines not being met.

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  3. Work, work, work! Plans are useless if you don’t act on them.

Most people fear deadlines because they view it as and end of the world. It would not be as such if you have been slowly putting in the work needed for the deadline.

Deadlines should be viewed as a positive goal, and not a negative block in the future.

Have a nice day.


How to Improve your Ink Drawings

This is my third year participating in Inktober, and, while I do not claim to be an expert at inking, or drawing, I do understand the struggles artists have with drawing in ink.

Ink is hard to work with because it is permanent. With paint, you can paint over a mistake and try again, unlike in ink, well, unless you are working with white ink, there are very few ways to remedy a mistake in inking.

That is why I like Inktober. It’s an opportunity to try a tough media. It can boost one’s confidence, if viewed in the right way.  However, approach the challenge with a different mindset, and it may destroy your confidence, rather than help build it.

I view Inktober as a way to experiment with my art. I can draw, but I can’t draw really well. Each media has its own technique to make it look good and stand out. Inking requires the artist to know his shadows fairly well. Without proper execution and rendering of light and shadow, you may have a drawing that looks cool, but it could have that nagging sensation at the back of your viewer’s head that keeps gnawing at them that something is not right…

So, how can one improve their ink drawings?

      1. Study. A fairly obvious, but a very necessary step.  If one wants to improve their skill, they have to study and learn.  Inking uses different tools. Are you planning to try to use ink brushes? Fountain pens? Or your regular ball-point pens? Either way, each tool, would necessitate using different techniques. Study up on it. Watch video tutorials, read a book. A quick search in youtube can give you lots of results. If videos aren’t your thing, how about reading a book written by established artists? Depending on your skill level, you could buy a book that teaches you the basics, or pick up a title that covers more advanced topics.
      2. Practice. Confidence in inking is evident in one’s line work. A more experienced artist can make more fluid lines, as opposed to a less experienced one. When I was starting out with inking, my lines tend to be more rigid, shaky and tried their best to follow the outline that I had drawn with a pencil. As I have improved, I learned that I could make less detailed pencil work, and I could let the ink do most of the details. As you practice more, your confidence builds, and your skill will gradually improve.
      3. Pencil if you must. There are some challenge-takers of Inktober that believe that one must only use pure ink in their work. Well, that is their path. Do not be afraid to take your own path. If you must pencil in your work before you can ink them, then go for it! The important thing is that you will be inking it later, and by doing so, you will be improving yourself. However, I would recommend that you do not put too much detail with your pencil works. Perhaps just focus on the basic form, placement of elements and probably a guide on the light and shadow. Detailing with ink is different that detailing with ink.
      4. Do not be afraid to experiment. Get out of your comfort zone. Try things you have not tried before. Are your lines too clean and flat? Try variations in line thickness to add weight to  your illustrations. Try shading with crosshatching. Try a different subject matter. Why not try using ink brushes for an art piece? It does not matter what the result is – as long as you are trying and learning.

I try to have a positive view with Inktober, despite being a very time intensive challenge. I admit that I cannot draw everyday. In fact, I am trying my best to catch up with the daily prompts because my time is limited, and I have to balance things out between work, and an internet challenge, among other things. However, I believe that the core of this challenge is about self-improvement. If you haven’t tried drawing in ink before, now is a good time to start. I hope you like ink as a medium!

Happy inking.

Blogging is About Sharing

shareUnlike a diary or a journal meant for no one else’s eyes but ourselves, a blog is written to share our thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

However, with this sharing, we end up opening ourselves to the world.  We are exposing a part of ourselves, and I, for one, could not help but feel vulnerable about it.

If there is something that is holding me back about writing my thoughts and ideas and putting them out for the public is that fear of being judged. I fear that what I am writing would put a label on myself, and would in a way cast me in a negative light.

I have never been that comfortable about stepping up and stepping out into the world.

This is probably why, I usually end up just “re-blogging” things, rather than craft something of my own.  I would rather share something that others made, which I found interesting or amusing, and share it to other people, rather than me, making something and sharing that thing, instead.

However, for us to grow, for us to improve, we have to step out of our comfort zones and experience new things.

I hope you all have a nice day.