One of my favourite illustrators (and regular howies t-shirt contributor) Andy J Miller is a kind of wizard when it comes to drawing.
To add to his talents, he's showed a flare for writing too. He keeps a blog that contains his views and attitudes towards design, along with a collection of character illustrations, as part of his 'Day-After-Day in Nod' series.
You can see everything on his tumblr here > http://designkoma.tumblr.com/ - it's well worth a read through.
Here's one of my favourite entries:
Personal Work: Motive
I have always done bits and pieces of personal work, but in the past couple years I have started to dedicate a bigger portion of my time and energy to developing my personal work. Something that has become more and more abundantly clear is that there are certain artsy cliches that actually have a lot of meat to them.
The one I have been thinking about the most however is working for yourself. I don’t just mean doing personal work, I mean motive, doing it for you. When you sit down to do personal work, what’s you motive?
Here is the rule I have found to be true time and time again, If your motive is anything but a personal desire to create, your work will suffer.
If you sit down to work out of a sense of jealousy, your work will suffer. If you sit down to work out of a sense of competition, your work will suffer. If you sit down to work out of a desire to make money or fill a gap in a market, your work will suffer.
When motives fog your desire to create, you will be filled with the wrong types of critics, your work will not flow freely and you will end up stifling your creativity all together.
How do you get your motives right?
Determine what type of work you want to create.
For me this started by taking an account of the most intense experiences I have had in my life experiencing film, music, or illustration, finding the similarities and then asking questions like “What about this moves me?”, “Why does this move me?” “What in my past effected what moves me?”. Then I filtered these things through my current values, dreams, thoughts and passions. All of these things put together give you a sense of what you want to accomplish in your own work.
Another thought that has always been helpful for getting this desire, is trying to create what art you want to look at and experience.
I can’t describe the feeling of going to the drawing board with that type of intention, coupled with a feeling of success when it was over. Looking at an image you have created in which you feel accomplishes a true outpouring of you is one of my the most satisfying feelings in the world.
Articulating my most moving experiences in life through my work is exhilarating, and a feeling I have never had prior to these discoveries.
P.S. When I talk about what moves you most I am not necessarily talking about the stuff you are currently into. I am talking about throughout your life what where the things that you remember being really effected by? For me it’s stuff like certain episodes of specific kid’s tv shows, and certain pages in specific kid’s books, a certain moment in a song even. I believe determining how these things made you feel and why is huge in this discover.