New Year, New Directions

First 3D Model Render by Indigo JansonHeading in a new direction is always exciting. The road unfurls before us, full of opportunities just waiting for us to seize them.

Taking a new path doesn’t mean abandoning what went before, though. Everything builds on everything. As I have learnt new things in this first week of 2013 and look forward to learning many more, I see this. What I learn in photography has a positive impact on my art. Similarly, one online activity paves the way for another.

This week I fell in love with 3D digital art. And how! I have been immersed in an exciting new world.

But I find that I have taken a circular route back to an old love. A few years ago I was taking my first steps with 3D digital models at a time when I was learning about online education. It was not the reason behind my being in a digital environment. That was about the teaching and learning. At the same time, it wasn’t a pointless distraction either. More a pleasant little path that meandered away from the road for a while, and that I chose to take when I had a moment to spare.

The basic skills I taught myself had no real world applications for me. Not at that time. But so often the things that grab our attention and seem to waylay us when we think we should be busy elsewhere are things we should pay attention to.

Now I discover the ever more advanced, yet reassuringly familiar, 3D tools. Discovery and rediscovery together, like arriving in a new country but seeing things you’ve already read about or seen in images.

I find too that not only does one skill or experience build on another, but different skills complement each other. Today I worked with a 3D model, then edited the render in GIMP, imported into Inkscape, there created vector paths, and finally exported that to my electronic cutting software to cut the shapes on my cutting machine. I then assembled the shapes by hand. And so created a one-of-a-kind birthday card for my nephew.

I feel out of breath just telling you the stages involved, but in reality these things come together in simple steps (though once each one seemed strange and difficult, until I learned it).

Dragon Birthday Card by Indigo Janson
If we have open minds to learning, which creative people almost always do, then over the years we will try many things. Some will stay with us, some will seem like temporary distractions. In time, those different elements come together like the strands of a braid, creating something stronger and more versatile. Rarely is anything we learn wasted.

One thing I find is that it’s easy to take for granted those elements of our creativity. Just because you can do something doesn’t make it easy. This week, as you look forward to the opportunities of a new year, spare a thought for all the things you have already taught yourself. Often you will feel like you have a long way to go. Don’t forget just how far you’ve already come!

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About Indigo

As a digital artist on a budget, I’m fascinated by what happens when art and technology meet, and love discovering affordable ways to make that happen.

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8 Responses to New Year, New Directions

  1. Sandra says:

    Indigo, so nice to see the light on in your (blog) house again!
    It would seem that you have some lovely new creative energy that you’re working with at the moment.
    That 3-D dragon card for your nephew!
    It must be really fun to create in 3-D with the new technology and tools that we have these days.

  2. Kim says:

    As with many creative people, you are talented in so many areas. But you’re right, you still have to work at it, except that it’s probably doesn’t feel like work to you.

    I think you make a good reminder to remind yourself how far you’ve come, instead of always thinking about how much you have to learn.

    • Indigo says:

      Yes, it’s only too easy to get caught up in thinking all I don’t know, Kim. I need to weigh that up against all I now do know. Besides, as you know yourself, the journey is all part of the fun!

  3. You never cease to amaze me. Now 3D! Awesome dragon. I’m into discovery these days too but I really appreciate the reminder to look at what I’ve already taught myself as well as how much more there is to know!

    • Indigo says:

      Thanks Sherry, I hope my nephew enjoys it. The finished dragon is 2D (more or less) but has 3D proportions and I thought it would be more fun to have it flying off the background. 🙂

  4. Ana Eugénio says:

    dear Indigo so wise words 🙂 you made me feel proud of myself by the way you point out creativity and achievements. I’m also proud of knowing you and be blessed by your wisdom and eloquency. amazing work you did my friend. xxo

    • Indigo says:

      I’m glad you are proud of yourself and all your achievements, Ana. Your path hasn’t been easy but you have such creativity and create things of beauty. Keep on believing in yourself. And thanks for your kind words.

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