I have finally found a critique partner and I really think this is exactly what my art needed. It helps to have a fresh set of eyes on my art, noticing things that I, as an artist intimately connected with the piece, may have overlooked.
It's time to get serious with my art.
If I'm going to make art my life (see previous journal) then I have to start taking the necessary steps towards drastic improvement that will bring my level up to where it needs to be to be creating professionally. A critique partner is one step on my road to that place.
I usually don't rework my art. Once I'm finished a piece I feel like I'm FINISHED. Maybe a year or more later I'll do a redraw (I love redraws) but in the moment I tend to not rework a piece. That needs to change. A huge part of the professional art process is revision. You thumbnail, check, revise. Create, check, revise. Revise, revise, revise. So I'm trying to get better at revision.
Here's my latest piece before and after revision (based mostly on suggestions from my critique partner). The improvements, particularly on the hand, made me so much more proud of this piece. Revision is noble work. I need to keep pushing myself to do this.