It’s finally cold, and getting out of bed has been a challenge. At five in the morning, even with seven hours of sleep behind me, getting up feels like a choice. The two hours before the house wakes up, is really the only time of day where I don’t have any external demands on my time and energy. There is no email. There is no dishes. There are no kids. There is no rush. It’s just me, and a cup of tea, and drawings that I’m only doing for myself. It’s as close as I’ve ever come to meditation. Doing this work first thing allows me to focus on just it, and frees me to do client work and more involved projects later in the morning after I get the kids off to school.
I was talking to one of the kids at Skate Club the other night about drawing, and practicing. We talked about drawing things out of our comfort zones, and about how the more we draw, the better we get. I’ll never be a baseball star, because I never play baseball. It’s the same deal with drawing. He told me that he’d tried to do still lifes, but didn’t really get them, or know how to put one together. Honestly, until Inktober of 2016 when I did a whole month of life drawing and still lifes, I didn’t get it either. Does it always have to be inspiring? Nope. The funny thing is though, the more I set them up, the more I was able to find something interesting to set up. Before long I was thinking of ways to telegraph what I was doing in my set-ups into things that would make the rest of my drawings stronger.
I once had a conversation with a friend about drawing the same thing every day. He said, “If you draw eggs every day, you’ll just get really good at drawing eggs.” Drawing the same subject over and over allows us to develop strategies for solving different forms and textures. One of my strategies is to look at drawings online to see how others have dealt with a problem, but that really just scratches the surface of discovery. Redrawing someone else’s drawings is letting them decide what the important things are. Iteration of the same subject allows us to experiment with placement, shape and context. Does it always have to be inspiring, to speak to us? Are these drawings going into the museum collection? Probably not, but doing them might allow us to create something later that WILL hang in the museum.
My goal for next week is to finish painting the American Artifacts cover, and post about my process when coloring digitally. I messed up on the color flatting this week, and had to start over (luckily, I wasn’t too far into it) so that should be fun to talk about.
Until then, take care and be good!