One month of #5×52

If you remember I’ve started a new self-help ritual for the 2017 year I’m calling #5×52. The short description is this: I’m spending at least five hours a week practicing illustration for one year and seeing what that means.

The long descriptions is here:×52/

Anyway, we’re one month in and I’ve see quite a bit of progress. I’ve moved from legitimately, and entertainingly terrible to boringly below average. It’s like I went from The Toxic Avenger to a forgettable SYFY film. I’m not complaining, that is awesome for me, because if I can progress at half this rate through the year, I might be “decent” by 2018. Make no mistake, decent is the goal. Actually, no it really isn’t. The goal is progress. Wherever I end up, I want to be better than I am now.

One thing a few people have asked me is, why am I working with both hands? You might not know it, but I’m splitting each night’s work with my dominant hand (right) and my non-dominant hand (left). There are actually a few reasons I decided to try.

1. My right hand is almost crippled with a lifetime of bad habits. I wanted to experiment and see if, over a full year, starting from scratch with my left hand, I might end up stronger
than unlearning bad habits with my right hand. My hypothesis is that by the end of the year, my right hand will be the better illustrating hand, but so far the left hand is holding its

2. I have had some hand issues in my life. Not carpal tunnel level, but definitely issues. If you didn’t know, I used to deal cards, and blackjack will destroy your hands if you aren’t
careful. My theory is that by switching hands, my brain gets 1 our of illustration practice, while my hands only get thirty minutes of abuse.

3. It’s different. If I’m going to do something like this, I want to have SOMETHING unique. And the progress of both hands is definitely unique.

How is it going? Um… I would have never expected it to go this well. It’s still, compared to a real artist, pretty terrible. But remember the goal. The goal is progress and the progress is definitively there.

This was my first left handed shot at Tart drawn on 1/8/17.

This is the left hand portrait from today (2/5/17).

My first right handed attempt (1/8/17).

And my right handed attempt today.

There are things I can pick apart on today’s attempts, but there’s nothing that isn’t a huge improvement on last month.

Let’s check back in at the beginning of March and see where I’m at!


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