Tonya Lee is one of Pentalic’s featured artists, thanks to her perseverance and can-do attitude. She recently sat down to share advice with fellow Pentalic artists about creating meaningful and flexible art pieces.
Written by Tonya Lee
Hello there! I’m Tonya from Scratchmade Journal, and I’m thrilled that Pentalic is hosting their inspiring Pentalic365 challenge.
A few years ago when I first began to sketch and paint, I tried to make every drawing into a finished work of art. There are several problems with this… one is that a simple mistake would ruin the entire piece. Also, I felt as if I was too bogged down in the process to enjoy it or even learn much from it, which were and still are my two main goals.
It was only when I began to ignore any perfectionist tendencies and focus more on quantity than quality that real enjoyment and skills began to emerge. As I gained confidence through quick sketches, pencil and paint began to flow more easily across the page, and it also loosened me up in more detailed, finished work.
I often learned more about composition, a subject, or a medium while doing quick sketches than I ever could in a labored piece of artwork. I began to realize that the only way to get great at something is to do a whole heck of a lot of it.
Because of this discovery, I’m now a huge fan of 10-minute (or less!) sketches and practice them nearly every day. I mean really, who doesn’t have 10 minutes? The problem is that we often fill our time with other things besides being creative. Instead, take advantage of small moments. Sitting in front of the TV, standing in a take-out line, or waiting for a friend in a restaurant are all opportunities to create.
I once heard it said that if you have passion, you can succeed at just about anything. But if you have loads of talent with no passion, you’ll never succeed. If you’re passionate about being creative, you’ll find a way and the time to pursue that pleasure.
The quick field sketches at this post won’t win any art awards, but to me, they are full of beauty and joy because they are my observations and interactions with the world around me. These sketches were born of curiosity and happened spontaneously in the pursuit of a creative life.
And that’s what Pentalic365 is all about!
P.S. If you’re looking for a lightweight, easy-to-carry sketchbook that won’t break the bank, Pentalic’s Recycled Drawing Book is exceptionally nice and works wonderfully well with pen and pencil and light watercolor. The quick cornfield and caterpillar sketches, featured above, were completed in this book. The little 10-minute watercolor landscapes are in a Pentalic Dreamcatcher Journal.
Follow Tonya on Instagram: @Scratchmadejournal
Youtube: Scratchmade Journal