So, last year I decided to do a self portrait – it was my first post of the year. It was a good exercise, and I had been intending on doing the same thing this year. I ended up getting distracted by other projects, but now that we’re getting near the end of January I decided to buckle down and finish up this year’s self portrait.

This year I decided to go with myself and my cat – Isabelle (aka Hissabelle). Isabelle is a pretty big part of my life – my companion and manager.  She follows me around and makes sure that I’m staying on track – or pointing out mistakes I’ve made that need correcting.  She’s not the friendliest cat, she’s a pretty typical one-person Siamese, but she loves my husband. Actually, she surprised me by jumping onto his chest and curling up to sleep the first time he visited me in Florida.

I was originally going to color this portrait with markers. I’m not very good at/comfortable with digital color. But, I decided I wouldn’t get any better or more comfortable with it if I never practiced, so I pushed myself to do this portrait digitally.

I kind of wish I had taken more time with the inks. I used microns for a simple flat ink, just wanting to get it done, but I think it would have been more lively with crowquill and brush. In any case, I feel like it turned out ok. I like how Isabelle looks, and it got me out of my comfort zone. I think if I had more time I would have added a little more detail, but I’ve always felt like simple color works well with my drawing style.

In the end it’s not about perfection; perfection is impossible to achieve. You could spend an entire life on one piece trying to perfect it. It’s about finishing a piece, and making the next one even better.

How do you push yourself to improve and get out of your comfort zone? Let me know in the comments!