Reconciling Art

I don’t make a lot of sense. Most of you know that I’m a graphic designer for a living. My technical title is Art Director. I know! It sounds super fancy, right? I direct art for a living! It’s not really that exciting though. It mainly involves putting words on images and such.

I used to be a fine artist. I painted some, but my real love was drawing with mixed media. Graphite, charcoal, carbon, Conté crayons, hard pastels, chalk, oil pastels and any dry medium that was in the black and white spectrum. I did some color works, but really, I loved working in black and white. I pretty much only did closeups of people, too. Like so:

Hello there.


I was good at it. I was such a good realistic artist that really, you might as well just take a picture. It’d be easier. Black and white realistic drawings of people. BORING. So, I kind of stopped doing it. My last one is unfinished. It’s huge. It’s the biggest thing I ever attempted. As of now, it’s rolled up in my closet. I haven’t even looked at it in probably four years.

Now, that’s not to say that I haven’t made art in all that time. I certainly have. I’ve made lots of art. Instead of breaking out my charcoal stick, these days, I fire up the old Adobe Illustrator. Some of my doodles are on this blog. I’ve made lots of drawings in Illustrator. I love messing around in there actually. But what comes from Illustrator is so different from what I used to make on paper and canvas.

A few weeks back, I wanted some original art to adorn one of my bedroom walls. I nearly bought some, but I couldn’t justify the expense. Instead, I decided to make my own art. I’ve even been toying with the idea of selling them as prints online somewhere. They might sell. You never know what people are into.





I know, right? They’re goddamn adorable. So far, I’ve made 18 different animals, but that’s including our beloved Goldfish (which I would never sell).

What I want to know is, how can the same person be responsible for both vastly different styles of art? Why is my style in fine art so different from my digital art style? Why is it when I go to draw something in illustrator, it isn’t a human face but a panda?

If you are an artist, do you find this to be the case with you? Even if you’re not, do you find that you do two separate things in a completely different style?

Help me out here. I just don’t make any sense.

There are 40 comments

  1. revisedgewater

    I wish I could draw in any fashion as well as you. Even my stick figures look like crap.

    As far as having two different styles, that’s not a bad thing. If you’ve read any of my stories, you’ll notice that Dead Set and A Race To Danger are completely different styles. As an artist you just have to go with whichever style fits what you’re trying to create.


  2. Blathering

    Wow, those drawings are amazing, and I can imagine if they were really big, they would be quite powerful, too. Maybe you could make money from your skills in creating avatars and headers, etc, for people’s blogs? Either “off the rack” or “made to order” – for extra cost, of course! Those cute animals would suit the purpose!


  3. theloneshewolf

    1. I’d buy these and the ones I haven’t seen.
    2. You are great at both doubley talented. I find what I doodle, draw and create are extremely different. That is the beauty (and frustrating) thing about art; It is un-definable.


    1. goldfish

      1. Yay! It’s nice to know someone might buy them I put them up for sale.
      2. Thank you! It is interesting to think about where it comes from though. Like part of me is serious black and white face studies, and the other part is cute little animals. I suppose that sums me up fairly well.


  4. electronicbaglady

    Both are great, as you know :-)
    I find my writing style changes whether I use pen and paper or a computer. I think it’s the interaction with the medium itself. Yeah, that sounds fancy. Let’s say it;s that.


      1. electronicbaglady

        I particularly noticed it when I had to dictate everything for a while in Dragon due to RSI (now thankfully sorted) and suddenly all my documents read like someone else had written them. It was really odd.


        1. goldfish

          Absolutely fascinating. When I read all my old paper journals, I felt much the same. I just chocked it up to the fact that a teenage me really was someone else that I couldn’t relate to at all. But now I wonder if it was the medium.


  5. Chatte Nocturne

    I like both styles! I can’t draw a panda to save my life, but I write. Sometimes I write in Spanish but most times I write in English. Each language connects with different parts of myself, I can’t fully understand how it works, but it makes me realize I have different inner realms that have different needs, or something.


  6. Not Quite Alice

    I’m with you. I take so much joy in portraits. Something about the face is fascinating to me, but others, not so much. Now I’m in the process of painting a mural that is vastly different from what I usually do. But I think if it’s what you like, then do it. I love doing anything with graphite with some added color tones, but then photography is my other love. It makes me happy, that’s the important part.
    Do what makes you happy. You’re allowed to be diverse.


  7. rarasaur

    DINOSAUR!!!! Oh. And yes, two awesome styles of art. The hubby does this too– something he’d draw with pencil is entirely different from illustrated art, or watercolor art, or acrylics even. It’s a bit of an art-show battle since people will often want 50% of his collections… and that’s rough on him as an artist since he sees them all as the same. I think that’s just a normal part of the creative process– different tools make different things. Let me know if you ever make the dino into a postcard or something! :D I can’t buy real art because I married an artist and every square inch of wall is already spoken for, haha! :)


    1. ponderingspawned

      Lol! My mom did the same to our walls growing up (covered them with her own works). Sometimes she would hang works in progress, so she could look at them during the day while watching kids and figuring out what to do with them next (the paintings, not the kids). It was always funny to see people try to be nice about them without knowing they were unfinished!


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