I’ve had a lot rolling around in my head lately — specifically around how to go about being a “real” artist. Being a “real” artist is merely a concept. It doesn’t actually mean anything. It’s not something measurable or tangible or even universally definable.
But I have this Platonic ideal of what an artist is. And I am not this thing.
For a long time now, I have been privately fighting an uphill battle to find a looser technique in my [occasional] work. To find less precision in my linework. To find more expressiveness in my gestures. To convey something demonstrably human-made, I guess. And today, I decided to stop fighting the nature of what I am decidedly good at: tightness.
So much of what I do is so measured, calculated, controlled. And perhaps a bit cold because of it. This goes well beyond pencil sketches and into every facet of my living day.
So I’ve decided to embrace these traits in what I do now. I’m going to push this aspect of me that I’ll never be able to shake out of my being.
But I still want to find a sense of looseness. I want to learn to give up control. I want to learn not to hold that which I create as precious. And so I started a new sketchbook today. I’m calling it my Obscure, Destroy Sketchbook, and I’ve got some simple goals and parameters:
- Each sketch must consume the entire 2-page spread.
- Each sketch must in some way obscure or destroy the under-work in some way.
- Each sketch must use at least one color.
I want to examine controlled destruction. I want to build up and tear down and watch the interplay between the two acts. I want to have no idea of the outcome. I want to have intention, but I want to let the “now” lead me where it may.
Maybe along the way I’ll manage to create a compelling image. Here’s hoping.