Stupid Hands


A sketch of me sketching... now that's meta.

A sketch of me sketching… now that’s meta.

It is easy to be a lazy artist.

Artwork, like anything else worth doing, is a skill that requires constant practice. Being an artist is like owning a chef’s knife: once you have it you can do all sorts of things with it, but you have to keep it sharp. It won’t disappear if it gets dull, but it won’t do you much good either. Artistry, like owning a chef’s knife, is an extremely useful tool to have- even when you’re not actually working to become a chef. It’s worth keeping it sharp.

Lately I have been a very lazy artist indeed.

Partly this is due to a lack of time to dedicate to drawing and partly this is due to a lack of motivation. My art form of choice is typically drawing, which requires a certain steadiness of hand that only comes with practice. When I get out of practice I describe it as my hands “getting stupid”. The tiny little twitch-muscles in my fingers are quick to forget how to balance a pencil and to feel the shape of the point and to stay steady and straight. It is extremely frustrating: I can understand how non-artists get frustrated when trying to draw because it is easy to get discouraged when you can clearly see where the lineĀ should go and can’t seem to make the pencil go there.

For the past few days I have been trying to get back into the practice of drawing. I’ve started drawing in pen so that I don’t feel tempted to erase and I’m making a point of drawing exactly what is in front of me. This makes for a lot of boring pictures because usually when I am sitting still long enough to draw a picture it is because I am waiting for something else, something more interesting, to happen. My goal in this is not to do a good drawing, but rather to be more observant of details. It is an exercise to train my eye as much as my hand: to focus on what I am actually seeing before my eyes rather than what I assume I am seeing.

Mostly I've been spending a lot of time in movie theatres. That means seeing the backs of a lot of heads.

With the amount of time I spend in movie theatres I’m going to be REALLY good at drawing the backs of heads.

My hope in all this is that my hands will eventually get back up to speed and in the meantime I will be able to practice some of my weaker points like perspective and architecture and object drawing. My hope is that by keeping in practice I will be ready to actually create a Work of Art when the inspiration arises.

 

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on June 10, 2014.

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