Old artwork. If art is your hobby or job, you’ve inevitably got a pile of old artwork stashed in some deep, dark, and forgotten corner of a closet or drawer. I mean, I have a lot of old art—some of it is from when I was kid—and admittedly, it’s a little awkward to look at. My immediate response is to cringe at it, laugh it off, or just quickly shut that drawer and walk away. However, old artwork is a good thing. And, like it or not, it’s always going to be a thing.
I view old artwork as a roadmap to my current art ability. If not for some of my old artwork, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I didn’t get this way overnight. It took years of practice, and even to this day I still find areas that I feel aren’t as on par with other aspects of my abilities.
I say that old artwork is a good thing because it serves as a visual reminder of where I was. Its a literal documentation of all the learning curves I've gone through, the style changes, and experiments. If I look back at pieces from early 2017 and compare them to some of my current projects, there’s a big difference. By comparing old with new, I can see the areas where I have improved as well as others that I still need to work on. But the signs of improvement are often sources of encouragement to continue. For example, the pictures below. The one on the left is a drawing from 2016 and the one on the right is the redraw I did for it on March 2, 2018.
What I’m trying to say is there’s no shame in old artwork. It’s older artwork for a reason. Is it kind of awkward? Yeah, sometimes, but that doesn’t change the fact that a year from now, I'll look back at everything I'm currently working on and will label it as older artwork. And, in a way, those ones (Those roadmaps to every learning curve) will always be just as important as recent pieces of art. Where's the shame in that?
What are your thoughts on older artwork?