I’m finally coming back to this project after what turned out to be an extended hiatus. I ended up stepping away after burning out for a bit, and tried a few other projects. Luckily, some of those projects were other quick figures which provided some better direction for this figure.
Most recently, I spent some time prototyping the arm blade. This is probably the single most redesigned piece of the entire figure. I posted some concept art a while back thinking I had a design I liked, but just days after it went up, I had my doubts about it. I went all the way back to the idea stage. I realized I was being way too safe with my design, and was worried anything really cool would be difficult to make. But, if it’s worth doing, might as well do it right or not at all. What I do have still isn’t finished, but it’s heading in the right direction. I’m picturing something where the whole forearm spreads out into this big, intimidating blade display. It’s difficult to get everything packed into such a small form, but I’m getting there. I know how most of it needs to work. Really the issue now is trying to reduce the number of moving parts and create the most efficient mechanism I can.
The rest of the design has been changing slightly. Every time I draw Orchid Mantis in my sketchbook, I tweak the suit in one direction or another. And I like it a little more each time. There haven’t been any major changes or anything, but I’d say enough to warrant some new concept art to follow. Most of it is better shape designs on the armor pieces.
After burning out on this project for so long, I felt the need to examine why it took me so long to pick it back up again. I think for entirely too long, I’ve been relying on motivation alone to get me through this project. I had been lucky enough to be motivated about finishing this for months, which is a rare feat for me. I typically burn out on a project after a week or two and want to move on to something else, so I thought I had this one locked down. It may have taken longer than normal, but the burnout was inevitable. I wanted to try a few other things to get the creative juices flowing again, and so I did, and naturally got wrapped up in those things.
I think the issue is that the majority of the creative work on this project is done. Now comes the tedious part where I just have to sit down and make it. That can burn someone like me out fast, especially when you try to force yourself to spend a whole day doing as much as you can. So I’m trying a new schedule. Two hours a day, then do something else creative. Every day. Each day I open the file, I give myself one task, rather than trying to do a little bit of everything and end up doing nothing. This week I’m finishing the hip joint, one piece at a time. Next week, probably the rest of the leg. Slow and steady. Motivation started this project, but discipline is what will finish it.