This piece, especially the hair gave me a lot of trouble, as in I redrew it multiple times. I knew I wanted to try re-drawing an older piece (see below) after the detail shots) but it just wasn’t cooperating with me at first.
I let it sit for a while and a few weeks later came back to tackle it with renewed vision and energy. I posted this on TikTok and someone commented that they liked the older piece better. I get why the style of the older piece and some of my more realistically styled figures appeal to more people. Now though, I look back at the older drawing and I think about where I was when I drew it (an anime convention) and how I was proud of it but overall I was trying so hard to produce something that would appeal to a lot of people, something that would sell. So while technically good it feels conceptually flat.
With this new piece, producing something that would sell was not my goal. My goal was to have fun and to breathe new life into this old concept, which I really feel I achieved. My style is “simpler” now but that simplicity helps me to have fun and focus more on the concept of the work and the joy of creating it, vs the perfection of the proportions.
In this piece, I added the boat and sea creatures which gives it more of a story I think. No longer is it just a woman personifying the ocean but perhaps it is a woman who’s lost a part of herself to the ocean. Maybe someone she loved was on that boat, lost at sea and she wants to keep them with her and wants to look ahead. I’m not fully sure but I know she has a story that the other woman didn’t.
To each his own really. I won’t be offended if the old piece is more your cup of tea. I’m proud of this piece and the new dimensions and meanings it holds for me, even if it’s just letting go of perfectionism.
Here is the older version: