Using Multiple Versions Of The Same Picture To Get Motivated To Make Art – A Ramble

2016 Artwork Different Versions And Motivation article sketch

I know that I’ve probably talked about this before, but I thought that I’d talk about one interesting way of looking at your own art that can help you feel motivated during the times when making art feels a bit like a chore.

But, first, I’m going to have to talk about music for a while – as usual, there’s a good reason for this that I hope becomes obvious later.

The day before I wrote this article, someone in my family was throwing out some old CDs and asked if I wanted any of them. I found a few wonderfully nostalgic CD singles (anyone remember those?) from the 1990s.

Of course, they’ve become somewhat obsolete these days – but, back in the day, it was kind of cool to get a cheap CD that wasn’t an album (even the case itself was thinner), but which still had multiple tracks on it (although never more than three).

If you were lucky, these extra tracks were either totally new songs, cover versions of songs by other musicians and/or live versions of the band’s other songs – but they were just as likely to be re-mixes of the same song.

Anyway, when I was writing yesterday’s article, I included an unprocessed scan of one of my digitally-edited paintings (that was originally posted here in March). It was interesting to see the two versions of the painting in comparison to each other – like the “A” side and the “B” side of a CD single.

This was especially true since I’d also scanned in the line art for that picture when I was making it (but didn’t include it in yesterday’s article). I had three versions of the same picture – like the three tracks on a CD single from the 1990s.

For the sake of completion, here’s the “work in progress” line art from the picture I included in yesterday’s article:

"And Thoughts Of Dreaming (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“And Thoughts Of Dreaming (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

Since I don’t want to repeat myself more than is necessary, I’ll show you what I mean about having three different versions of the same picture with another (far better) painting of mine that was also posted here in March:

1) "La Chanteuse" By C. A. Brown

1) “La Chanteuse” By C. A. Brown

 2) This is an unprocessed (except for cropping) scan of the picture. It's closer to the original painting, but slightly more faded due to the limitations of the scanner.

2) This is an unprocessed (except for cropping) scan of the picture. It’s closer to the original painting, but slightly more faded due to the limitations of the scanner.

3) This is the "work in progress" line art for the picture.

3) This is the “work in progress” line art for the picture.

As well as making me think about CD singles from the 1990s, having multiple versions of the same painting also reminded me of my favourite film (“Blade Runner“) – which also exists in at least five different versions (eg: the 2007 final cut, the 1992 director’s cut, the 1982 international version, the censored 1982 American cinema version and the 1981/2 workprint).

You might wonder why I’m trying to link my artwork to totally unrelated things like CDs and films. Well, it’s because it’s one way that I can keep myself motivated when making art doesn’t really feel like a particularly “cool” or interesting activity.

If you find a way to make making art feel just a little bit like making other things (that you think are a lot cooler) then it can boost your self-esteem slightly and make you feel better about your own art.

It can make you feel like an artist again, rather than just someone who paints or draws.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

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