TTMT Video

Is that a walrus in your pocket?


Pencil drawing on cardstock. Colored with acrylic ink in water. Linework done with dip and fountain calligraphy pens.

Not up for a video this week and the main thing I have to show has already been gifted. I got extremely lucky before starting this when my friend casually dropped that her favorite animal was a walrus. Given that information and her penchant for trying to get silly animal companions during our D&D gaming sessions, this whimsical little beasty came about. The bottle label reads “Hrossvalr”…supposedly the Old Norse word for walrus, which roughly translates to horse-whale for additional whimsy points.

Since I have a very limited number of inks (6 solid colors, 2 metallics, and 1 opalescent) I wound up mixing and swatching ink blends on some leftover index cards before I started painting this. I may have gone just a littttle bit overboard as I wound up with 40 color swatches from the 6 inks I was working with. At some point I’ll expand my range with some additional inks…and even more blends.

While this piece turned out okay, especially given that I almost never practice drawing, and my friend is very pleased with it…it really brought home an issue I have with everything I make: It is better than expected, but not as good as I want. I can point out the flaws in my work until I go blue in the face enumerating them all. I seem…incapable of being satisfied with what I create, which is incredibility frustrating and demotivating. I can improve my skills, but how does one cope with this level of all encompassing dissatisfaction?

Quite possibly with therapy. Lots and lots of therapy.

Apologies for the shoddy photo quality. I only snapped the one picture immediately after it was finished and the lighting wasn’t great. The colors of the water and glass bottle in particular are also rather delicate and just don’t photograph very well.

4 thoughts on “Is that a walrus in your pocket?

  1. That walrus is pretty fabulous – made all the better with the story behind it.

    You are not alone in being able to pick out every flaw in your work. That comes with being an artist. However,the ability (or curse) is what keeps you growing and getting better. The day you feel like your work is perfect is the day you start to stagnate. At some point you do become happy with your abilities while still striving to improve. Perfection is unattainable but excellence isn’t.


  2. Susan put it perfectly so I won’t repeat all that. Accept that there is always room for improvement while knowing it’s still good enough for what you made it for. That’s hard but something we work on constantly. Therapy can certainly be helpful, it certainly helped me and many others I know. Hold in your heart that there are people that care about you as you, with no other expectations above that.


  3. I think the walrus looks wonderful! We’re all our own worst critics and it’s pretty hard to get away from that… I’ve been told many times to stop pointing out the flaws in things to other people, just to let it go because nobody else will notice it half so much as we do, and that’s true for sure.


  4. Gorgeous! One of my favorite lines to my children is “if you could see what the rest of us do, You’d be quite amazed with yourself.” I reminded myself of this too. It takes a bit of time and effort to acknowledge and appreciate your talents as others do. I hope you see what the rest of do one day soon.


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