I’m living in Wales in a dead end t-shirt printing/embroidery digitizing job. I know what it’s like to be doing all the monotonous crap and to have no one to speak to etc. I have a floor to myself which is mostly stock and then my office at the bottom. I’ve got the net (I’m at work now ) but I’m the only person in my company that can do my job. Customer brings something in and I digitize it. No scope for creativity, I just take their artwork whether it be off a business card or ad from a newspaper (seriously) and turn it into a vector format that we can use. There’s a few girls downstairs running embroidery machines and they’re nice people but not very… technically minded and if you don’t watch big brother or live in their neighbourhood, then there’s not a lot to talk about.
Difference is I don’t have any qualifications. I’ve got a few fair GCSE’s but I really potched about afterwards. Spent half a year trying to do A levels but decided they wern’t for me (all my friends went to college.) So I went to college to do ICT… Decided that wasn’t for me, so got a full time job. I’ve taught myself Photoshop and Illustrator and since starting this job I’ve learned Wilcom (embroidery program)… I was thrown in the deep end with no training!
Anyways I’ve been thinking a lot about a career the last few months. Unsure of what I wanted to do I thought back to my childhood to see what I really took an interest in when I was in to everything… then it hit me: drawing! So I decided I wanted to be an illustrator, but to cut short I really wasn’t into drawing arty-farty stuff, when I was a kid I used to conceptualise and draw vehicles/‘things’ rather than arty stuff… so now I want to go into ID (I’m not knocking illustration, I love seeing it it, it’s just not for me to create).
My sketching skills are rusty and I’ve bought Scott Robertson’s drawing perspective form DVD. I’ve enrolled on an OCN general art course at my local college (was all I could do in the evening while I kept my job ticking over) letting the tutor know exactly what I want to achieve- my aim is to use the class to gain the practical skills needed to draw again and through practicing there and practicing at home, build up a portfolio of concept designs to present as a means to entering uni next year or the year after as a mature student.
So there’s my story, sorry it’s a bit of an essay, it’s not much of a help but I just wanted to show there’s others out there in the same situation, and I’d love some input if anyone reads this! I’ve been reading the forums for a while and it seems full of bright, informative people. I’m so glad I found it.
Anyways, that aside I think you’re just out of practice. The skills are there, you’ve been doing the same crap for so long it’s all gone a bit rusty. It’s difficult to just sketch on your own once you’re in that rut and that was one of the big reasons for joining an evening course… with a tutor to answer to and briefs coming in it gave me direction.
What TOM said was a good idea. Try competitions… even if you think you don’t stand a chance of winning it’ll give you some criteria on which to design, rather than just trying to draw for the sake of drawing, and what you create is always added portfolio juice.