The artist is not the book. Or the movie. Or the startup. The artist learns that she is not to be held accountable to her first “you,” but to her second.Steven Pressfield
Interior design work is ramping up around here, so this week I found it funny and hard to try and get back into the creative mindset required to make art. I’ve been doing a lot of interior design renderings as well, and they are a different animal altogether.
My process for interior design renderings is one that I’ve patched together over the years. You see, I’ve probably had more perspective classes than most interior designers. Fine art was my first college degree, and I learned the classical, old-school way to draw perspective with eye level, vanishing points, etc.
I came into interior design non-conventionally, and the courses I took to get my design degrees didn’t cover how to draw 3D renderings. So I had my art background, and I attempted to draw a few rooms with my talent and classical training, but I quickly realized that it took too long. Spending weeks (yes, weeks) on a room drawing would never fly.
Then I read about using SketchUp and have been painstakingly teaching myself how to use it. Friends, I hate computer programs. So this has been painful. And while I knew I needed this to find my perspective quickly, I still wanted to hand-render as much as possible.
Now my process goes like this: I create a simple dimensional model in SketchUp with circles, squares, and rectangles from floor and furniture plans. I can play with the perspective as much as I want until I get the best one. I then get tracing paper to transfer those simple shapes onto 300 lb. watercolor paper and go back to drawing by hand.
While I know how to draw well, it has been an adventure to do it under the microscope of interior designers who have thought out things like “contrast welt trim” here and this patterned pillow there. I’m finally feeling like I have a handle on it but there is so much room for improvement!
This week I wanted to share a lesson learned, or actually remembered. I realized over the last four renderings that I’ve done that I have been relying on SketchUp a little too much. I wasn’t letting my verticals ALWAYS be verticals, as taught to me in my college classes. SketchUp slants them depending on the perspective, and I realized once I went back to making them verticals, my renderings improved dramatically.
See my opening to the other room and the fireplace? That’s what relying too much on SketchUp does. (Sorry Traci! I’ll do better next time).
Why am I sharing this?
Because we’re all a work in progress, and if it helps someone in the field, I’ll have left a little positive note in the world.
Switching to the creative mindset of fine art has proved difficult this week. The improving weather hasn’t helped much. I just want to run and ride and lay in that sun! I think making fine art requires a much deeper dive into the invisible than interior design, and I have to be really intentional about coming to the blank canvases with the right spirit.
Four pieces of art were made. One is a small but ongoing landscape (they have SO many stinking layers) and the other looked like something you’d buy on the clearance rack at TJ Maxx, so it’s going in the bone pile.
I will be adding these two to my online shops:
There’s something always pulling me to simplify, and I guess my art reflected that this week. “Quiet” was an experiment of combining my line art with oil washes. Should I do more of them? Please let me know!
Until next time!