Saturday, 29 January 2011

Giving Myself Some Good Advice #5: Focus, Focus, Focus

Well, I must admit that I have been acting like a famished octopus for the past week, trying to savor everything I held in each persistent tentacle. And what do I get at the end from doing that? Feeling like an absolute fool, because nothing got done and eventually the only thing I ended up doing was to slow down and tend to them one by one. Yeah, serves me right, I say.

I realize that one of the snags of working in the creative field is when you come to the moments when multiple ideas burst altogether, trying to get your attention while you are, as usual, very short on time. The trouble is, if you tried to get one thing done, the others start screaming and begging for you to work on them. So what is a girl to do? Well, maybe next time I'll wear earplugs. (^_^)

Anyway, this was supposed to be my submission for Illustration Friday's Dusty. Late, I know, but better than never, right?

Dusty The Chimney Sweep, acrylics on paper

Meet Dusty. He's a poor and humble little chimney sweep who is about to embark on a new adventure in a world he's never seen before. Dusty here, is part of a new project I'm kicking myself to focus on and while the other ideas are still screaming on top of their lungs, I'm trying my best to focus on this little man. So wish me loads of luck with this one!

Have a good weekend, Amalia, oxox


  1. Dusty looks great, Amalia. I love his little owl friend. I think you did a fantastic job! :) Theresa

  2. He is soooo cute! Is this a new book you are working on? Looking forward to more more more!

    I was just looking for your site and there you were with a new post! Always exciting for me!

    This reminds me of Mary Poppins of course! Love that movie...

    HOpe you are doing wonderfully and so happy to see this gorgeous young man!

    Smiles and hugs my friend

  3. Ooooooo, love Dusty and his friend!
    Honey, you are describing the regular mind of an artist.
    I go through utterly BLANK spells, begging for something to spark.
    Then they hit all of a sudden and I'm juggling cats.
    Well, not really---you get the idea.
    And real life interfering? Makes me steaming mad! ;-D
    Take care. It will work out!


  4. Oh, an adorable BOY!! So cute, but where is the flowing hair?! He is just charming.

    It really is crazy-making, being creative, isn't it? I love what Anne said about juggling cats and life interfering! We've had lots of school delays and cancellations lately, and while I can work with my kids around, it's so much easier when I'm not being interrupted with "Where are my boots?", "When's lunch?", and "Get off the video games!!!"

  5. Dear Amalia, I love reading the advices you are giving to yourself...Can I please use them for myself too? :)
    I know exactly how hard is to focus on only one thing at a time..when your head is full of ideas waiting to be gets overwhelming for me sometimes...and then I get very impatient when I can't work on them due to the lack of time.Frustrating!

    Anyway,I really like the owl and the colour of the night sky...and of course your new little guy. Wonderful work as always!
    ...Oh and good luck! ;)

  6. I love, as always, this beautiful painting, dear, and I am very sorry because I cannot understand very well your language :'-(( My English is very defficient. But I always enjoy my visits to your wonderful blog. Big hug!

  7. Hooloo, the ooowl is a fine touch. Dusty is good, I am sure he will be very flexible and the right choice to listen to. Not a trace of Dick van Dyke either :)

    The restricted tonal range in this one givesus that nice harmony we have come to love and expect :)

    see you


    err I mean from oz

  8. What a fantastic piece. I know how you feel about the ideas clamouring for attention, I had the same problem last night until one of them got stronger than the rest and took over!
    I do love the way you described yourself as a famished octopus - had me really chuckling! Great description.

  9. Dusty is so handsome...and is so well done. I hope he enjoys his new adventure...

    Sometimes it is hard when all of the ideas are screaming to come out and wethink, hey I am only one person, can't get to everything that i want to do. That's ok....he he he, i like your idea of wearing earplugs.

    love the owl too there on the roof with dusty! xo

  10. What a sweet boy! I wonder where his adventures will take him? He looks so calm up there on the rooftop beneath the stars!
    I know exactly what you mean when you have so many ideas at once! But I find it fun and inspiring, I just have that exact same problem of putting them down on paper far too quickly then realising that I need to slow down if I am to get it right, haha.

  11. I love Dusty! He is such a joyful chimney sweep! Your characters are so full of life Amalia! Great colors too. It is so hard being creative sometimes... we have so many ideas that we want to capture at the same time. Working on them in some kind of order or priority seems to stifle us. Don’t you wish you could just gush out all you have stored up inside you for all the world to see? God bless

  12. At times I think the work flow comes like a wave with high tide and low tide, slowly pushing us closer to the shore and often slowly dragging us back into the sea of creativity :) I see that your creativity is flourishing at its peak and so many wonderful artworks from you lately! :D :D

    Awesome~~ I love your current style with the the pencil marks and wonderful earth tone palettes!

  13. A beautiful piece. Great emotion.

  14. I love him! I would hug him, soot and all! Aww, he really brings a wide smile to my face, because I can imagine him dancing and prancing across the rooftops and jumping over his broom. And he has the most adorable little smile!

    Ahh, yes, focus focus focus. If it is any consolation to you, I have read that multi-tasking is actually inefficient. Concentrating on one thing at a time is better. Good thing for me, because I have completely lost all ability to multi-task.

    Have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious weekend!

  15. I like your little chimney sweeper! Charming Dusty! He likes to look neat and elegant, regardless of his job! He's such a brave and curious boy! Ready to see and learn new things. Maybe that's why he has an owl for a guardian?
    A dreamy drawing! I like the soft, muted colours and the magic moon - so close to us. I can even feel the chilly air!...:)
    I try to imagine what's going on with you, Amalia! The earplugs won't help,I'm afraid, because the voices are deep inside of you! So... I can't give you an advice what to do!... I myself cannot work upon different projects at one and the same time! Yes, no power can stop my thoughts, but I dedicate myself to the one I have to finish first! In fact you took a good decision - to focus upon one thing and to use all your skills, talent and time for it! Good luck with the project!xxx

  16. Love your little chimney sweeper Amalia it made me think of Mary Poppins, because my daughter used to watch that over and over again when she was little.

  17. I can't believe the synchronicity of this post! I am pulled in all directions and feel like a rag doll with everything half-done or not started. I know I especially get this way in Winter, but, goodness. Ahh... well. Let your heart lead and all else will follow, I suppose. I also, just stop sometimes and read to infinity and it settles the motes of scatteredness. I love your sweet sweep! Blessings to you, dear.

  18. This little cute guy is wonderfully illustrated. He is soooooo adorable. I love that Mary Poppin's feel that comes across so sweetly. Great work once again.
    You always blow us alway with your wonderful work.V

  19. oh he is wonderful Amalia. I love these colors and moods you have been pouring out lately! And the wee owl is charming as can be!

  20. The low value contrast is a good choice for the composition. Keeps the mood down, and calm like his expression.
    Must be the start of his day... he'll be much dirtier come morning

  21. Now where is my whip? Oh it's over there where I left it.... :)

    More work! More work! A chorus comes up from the crowd. "Yes we say, more work".


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