Saturday, February 28, 2009

In regards to "drawing."

A former student of mine in regards to drawing:
"How do you do it? I always think about it but...."
I thought this was such a great query I decided to take up an answer, for myself as well as anyone else. I've been reading Will Eisner's "Shop Talk" and my favorite parts are when the artists are talking about their process. Answering a question like that may also, I suspect, help me draw more, better or...something else equally influenced as a subjective and conditioned skill enforced by doing rather than thinking. I quote Jack Kirby,
"I find that you can listen to peoples lectures for an hour or two and learn nothing. You just do things the way you want them. You make your own innovations. It's one of the reasons I believe in people. I believe people are unique - not that they listen to others, just that they watch others. They watch for mistakes, they watch for good things, and then they take what they need."
My little one answer post became too long in a hurry. But here are my simple steps.

1. Figure out where you are going to draw.
This can be anywhere underneath the ceiling of your physical limitations. Basically, as long as the place is in accord with step 5.

2. Select a surface to draw on (or IN if you are drawing digital.)

3. Select media.
This can be anything, as long as it's in accord with steps 1, 2 and 5

4. Select what you are to draw.
This can be difficult! Be prepared! Make a list of things you want to draw...go down the list till something hits you.

5. Select time.
This I find is the hardest part and probably the most personal. It can be right NOW.
I am looking for and refining an optimal pattern. It goes something like this:
1 - 3 hours inspirational resourcing.
1 - 3 hours rough drafting, messing-around and warming up.
6 - 12 hours "hardcore" drawing, by "hardcore" I mean finishing, commissioned work, work in it's final stages.
Have I ever done this kind of day? I think I've come close a couple times in painting, but no, not really, it is just a theory. Usually I'll just settle for a few minutes of each, a half hour to an hour and a half for warm up works just fine and usually some really neat things happen, a lot of rough draft stuff comes out of that. I also like the game where I see how much time drawing I can "bank," like in my sketchbook, napkins, scraps of paper, foggy bathroom mirrors, dry erase boards etc. And I think all that practice adds up to something, what I'm not sure, like I said I mostly treat it as a game.

P.S. This is exceptionally subjective, based on personal experience and not a best practices promotion. But I try really hard to avoid trains of thought about...even as I write my mind shies from the, what is it all about? Does it matter if i do it or not? Blah Blah Blah...I can't go there. Questions of that sort, and I have enough of them without asking for more by following their tails, seem to lead only to apathy. Courage and faith are needed foot in front of the other...etc. etc.

I think that's it really.