When Do You Draw the Line?

-By Daniel LuVisi


There I was, supposed to be enjoying myself at a birthday dinner, but instead pissed to all hell about something I couldn't control at that very moment.

Shutting off my computer with a huff and puff, I stepped into my business partner's car to go see a good friend for his final night in California. Was excited to go see him and possibly other friends, but I couldn't shake this shitty feeling I had been having for the past five days and I knew it was about to ruin my night.

In the previous entry, I spoke about becoming blindsided by your career or goals, and facing the consequences such as I did. I take art, very, very seriously. Have my entire life, ever since I first learned how to lay down a line (an incredibly amateur and sloppy one).

It's one of the few activities that can not only truly calm me down, but allow me to escape, films and music pulling a close second and third. However I can't play music, and am still trying to figure out the world of film-making, so art is a trait I like to believe I've put my mind through the most.

And my mind grew fatigued this past week. After five days, I could not, for the life of me, figure out the perspective of this character's face. It was a simple three quarter view, but nothing worked. No amount of reference, sketch-overs, or paint-overs could figure it out. Every hour, I would sit there, shaking in my head out of anger, erasing and repainting. Merging layers, and re-painting. I can only imagine this problem on a traditional level, so excuse my venting.

I hadn't felt this problem ever since I painted the above World War Z imagine some seven or so years back. Half way through, I nearly gave up. It was new for me, something large and including more than one character. Considering myself a character guy, I'm used to pin-ups or portraits. With my new LMS book, I plan to push out of that safety net, but some seven or so years ago I was a chump. Flat out.

However, I pushed through. And looking back, that zombie piece really opened a lot of doors for me. With this new one, I felt the same way. It's a critical moment in the lead character's origin story, that needs to hit on an emotional beat. But for the life of me, I couldn't get one of the key character's emotions right.

It became obsessive. After five days of not being able to fix it, I began hyper focusing on the problem. Thinking about it when I should have been enjoying my time. Considering myself a bad artist for not being able to paint it.

As I pushed through, now seven days later, I finally figured it out and learned a new lesson in the process: Take a damn break. Go for a walk. I write this today, to cement it so other's can call me a hypocrite when I refuse to go and smell the roses. Because day after day, I continue to forget that the painting isn't going anywhere.

My question to you is: Do you go through the similar process? And if so, what's your method of therapy and resolution?