A double post. I’ve been working on a report for the youth ministry I’m involved with. It was due today. A copy was submitted but my team mates want me to make a couple of changes. I will work on that tomorrow and resubmit the document.
Drawing from history
I’ve finally taken the plunge and bought An Idiot’s Guide to Drawing. And I saw what an idiot I really am. All these years I believed drawing to be difficult. But, it’s not. Drawing requires a lot of hard work and you have to learn quite a couple of techniques but with a book to help idiots like me, it’s not difficult.
I always believed myself to an artist. How vividly I remember the joy I felt whenever I took a snapshot of something or someone, the passion with which I drew cartoon characters, the abstract doodles I drew in my books, the rush I got from attempts at origami, and the enthusiasm and love I poured into the cards I made. I simply love creating.
But, my visions of drawing well took a huge knock in my 8th grade art class. Our assignment was to draw a flower, I think. I chose to draw a lily. We had an indoor lily plant. I put great care into the image and took my time to shade it just right. You can imagine with what pride I presented my masterpiece. And you can imagine how my heart sank when I received it back crossed out with a red pen. My heart plummeted to the heart of the earth when I read “Do not smudge!” In the top left corner. That was a turning point in my art career. I stopped enjoying art class from that moment on. Sure I had fun with the other projects we did, but my dreams lost their lustre.
And yet the impulse to create was always there. The creativity shifted gears and became more cognitive in nature. It took the form of story telling. Creative writing essays and music (although I never had much talent for it) became my avenues of expression. I sucked at argumentative and reflection essays, but loved narrative essays. I feared descriptive essays, because I didn’t trust myself to describe something well. The exams always saw me score high marks in narrative writing as I poured my heart and soul into my masterpieces. Yet the desire to draw well was always there.
It wasn’t until I began to abstain from pornography and masturbation in the latter half of 2012 that I decided that I would learn to draw well one day. A friend of mine came to visit the lab. She was an undergraduate student who had Asperger’s Syndrome and suffered from depression. But, she was super intelligent as was her brother, whom I never met. She saw my doodles in the lab book and said that I had some artistic talent. (I always shaped and coloured arrows in.) She re-established my confidence by telling me that I just have to learn how to draw.
When I decided to add sculpture to my arsenal of modes of expression, I read from various sources that it’s important to draw your sculptures beforehand. The drawings act as a road map, a guide, a plan.
It became apparent when I created an organisation chart for the report I submitted today. Even though I knew what I wanted the layout of the chart to be like, I just couldn’t seem to get it that way. So, I had to put pen to paper which made it easier. This convinced me to buy An Idiot’s Guide to Drawing this evening. And I don’t regret the expense one bit!
The book contains 50 lessons on ranging from very easy to extremely difficult (or advanced). Yet the book is organised in such a way that they take you step by step through the process teaching you various kinds of shading techniques. They also instruct you on how to hold your pencil, what the best pencil types are, how your home studio should be, the right kind of paper to use, etc.
My 8th grade art teacher should’ve been more compassionate and taught me the things I did not know. Had she taken the time, my confidence in myself would not have been shaken so much. But it isn’t her fault entirely that I lacked confidence. Yet my belief in my artistic abilities would’ve been that much stronger.
Once I have all my wax sculpting supplies, I will buy my drawing supplies.
Art is important to me because it not only captures a moment in time, but it communicates messages. I see it as a means of self-expression and as a means to communicate my beliefs and direct people to my God. The thought and the process of art creation soothes my troubled soul and places me in connection with my Saviour. He is an artist Himself; in fact, He is the Master Artist.
Plus I’m happy whenever I create something which is both beautiful and useful. Everything I create must serve a good purpose because the Master Artist always creates things with a definite purpose.
Happy creating, fellow artists/bloggers!
Discussion Question Some people believe, including me, that if you are an good visual artist, you can switch your medium and still be great in that medium?