I’m trying to let go a little bit lately. I’ve been feeling a pressure, an obligation, to increase my income lately, which has made me take on projects that I’m not excited about. I’m not saying that the tattoo I did on Saturday wasn’t one that I disliked, because it was for a family that I have a deep affection for, but it’s not my normal style:

And immediately after I finished tattooing, it was time to hit the road to go on a short weekend vacation with the family! But I was miserable.

Yeah, I was miserable on vacation, because I have that “obligation” to provide more for my family. That, and I just love my routines and the comfort of home. I’ve pretty much always disliked vacations…

But I stuck to my minimums. Sort-of. I did half-a-spread on Sunday (a long drive home, followed by a disaster at home when we arrived), then another half-spread on Monday (recovering from sleeping on the couch due to the disaster in our bed while we were away):

I’m really not happy with these sketches, but I did what I could, then made up for it today with two spreads:

Not a lot of visual interest on this one, but I started some studies on another spread:

I feel like my head-drawing has taken a step backward lately, so I’m going back to the fundamentals. And I wanted to work on some dynamic sketching exercises, too. Playing with organic forms.

Finally, I prepped for tomorrow’s appointment:

Which was difficult for me to do, because I can’t simplify enough for traditional tattoos. I always want to push more form instead of keeping it super-simple. But I’m fairly pleased with the final result.

Other Practices: Writing and recording for CreateQuest (YES! I’m getting back to it!), Brainstorming for Pathfinder Session #1.

What was awesome?

Not breaking the chain.

Recovering enough by today (Tuesday) to have a really productive art day.

Giving myself the permission to recover.

What needs work?

I need to have the courage to be disliked, even when it comes to my family. Vacations aren’t my thing. My daily practice is my thing.

I also need to continue studying the human head. Go back to the basics, understand the Loomis head, understand the Reilly head abstraction, understand the Asaro head…so many head studies to consider, but all worth the effort. One little bit at a time.

What did I learn?

It’s OK to take it easy and do less, not more.

And don’t forget to check out CreateQuest – a project that I’m working on with Chris Beaven. It’s our mission to bring creatives together in an empowering community with a focus on improving the world, not just changing it.

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