Free Monthly Portrait contest. At one point, I got this idea that it should be bigger than it was, and should mean more. I created a Facebook page, then proceeded to reach out to other military pages to help spread the work. That first day, US ArmyWTF Moments shared my inquiry and within hours I had over 500 "likes." I was super stoked, and got to work on a Kickstarter page and set up the details. People started posting photos and showing support. Unfortunately, it soon became clear and extremely frustrating that most people don't really read or pay attention to posts. I didn't want to hurt feelings or come across as negative in any way, but I had specific ideas for what the project encompassed and what I was looking for in subjects. I n=know I went about it wrong in some aspects, as it took off before I really had it all planned out. I got ahead of myself, then it was at a standstill.
On top of it all, when my next semester started, I had almost no time for anything outside of work and school. I dropped the project mainly because I didn't know how to revive it properly; and getting people to not only pay attention and participate, but understand what the project even consisted of was beyond frustrating. It's like being a fan of a book you've never read or a movie you've never seen- people blindly clicked "like," half read posts at best, then promptly forgot any of it ever existed. If I ever try it again, it will most likely not include any sort of Facebook campaigning.
I know I will continue to stumble onto inspiration and take off on crazy new projects, but at least now I have a better idea what will work out and what will not. I have gotten much better at turning down commissions that are outside of my skill set (which is unfortunately most of them) but I'd rather do something I do well and enjoy than make promises and turn out something I am disappointed in. I have always spent so much time on a piece, that even when it came out mediocre, I settled for it. I am working on my scrap bin, where I am keeping all of my rejects from the world. Just like Island of Misfit Toys, there may be nothing wrong with them per say, but they are just not quite right. I think of pieces of mine that I settled for, and I cringe at the thought that it is out there.
I have even created a short tutorial to explain what I accept in a submission. It makes it easier to reject something if I have specific guidelines.
It's basic, but gets the main points across.
For now, I am sticking with portraits. I have really come to love silverpoint, and have done several portraits with it over the last few months. Taking drawing and watercolor classes have really expanded my range, but I always go back to portraits.
Current work in progress: