Tuesday, January 09, 2007


i realized that actually when it comes to conceptual illustration, i'm an extremely slow worker. when i plan to draw something, i usually take at least 5 times more the time i need to compared with a spontaneous drawing - probably because i usually don't have a plan when i begin drawing. sometimes i see where the lines take me, sometimes i have a vague visual or concept, and this excites me because i don't know how the drawing will end up taking me.

but with a planned piece, i lose interest extremely quickly.


which is why i like to work on several illustrations simultaneously, or stop drawing for a while and take a break, read the news, eat ice cream, stuff like that throughout the day. BAHAHAHAHHA. *excuses, excuses! for being a lazy slacker :P* i don't think it's detrimental though. it helps with idea generation sometimes. you take a break from it and then you see it from a fresh perspective. what you can put in to improve the drawing, what should be left out, etc, etc...

the more drawings that i do, the more i fall in love with drawing. but when i surf the web and i see artists more accomplished than i am, i get jealous. and my jealousy fits makes me so much more determined to improve my art. so i draw some more. and then i fall in love again. it's a weird cycle, but it's something i can see me doing for my entire life.


i read this blog entry by a fellow illustrator and it totally blows my mind away because it is exactly what i would have written if i actually bothered to sit down and type away at a blog entry. so i'll be lazy and apple+c, apple+v everything here.

it's quite a lengthy post so brace yourselves - if you actually read it, that is.

"Most of the time, I don't have a plan when I draw. Well, I have a plan in that I'm trying to draw something, but beyond that I find that it sort of evolves, often into something completely unrelated to the original. Here, I started out trying to draw a beautiful woman. Somehow it evolved into something androgynous and unrecognizable in comparison to the photo that was my inspiration.

It made me think about this article that I read in Wired Magazine about the nature of artistic genius. Economist David Galenson did a study of artists and discovered that there were two basic types--those who created their most valuable work in their youth and those that seemed to experience a steady rise in their creativity that peaked toward the end of their lives. Further exploration revealed to him that there are essentially two kinds of innovation and genius.

The first is what he calls conceptual innovation. These are the people who have a picture in their minds of what they want to create and in a series of bold, sharp moves they create it. Picasso is an example of this type--someone who created an entirely new style of art (Cubism) and who "jolted art in a new direction."

The second group are the experimental innovators. These people progress in fits and starts, trying new things, discarding them, moving in a slower progression with insights from one small experiment getting incorporated into the next in an evolutionary process that ultimately can end up someplace entirely different from where they began. Galenson places Cezanne in this second group--working endlessly to perfect his technique, he moved slowly toward a goal that he never fully understood. As a result, some of his best work didn't come until the end of his life.

Galenson argues that this insight isn't confined to art, that it is, in fact, a way of looking at all sorts of creativity and innovation. He applied it in his own field of study--economics--and discovered that it held true for them, too.

Reading this created one of those "aha" moments for me. In all facets of my life I find that I'm more experimental than conceptual. I tinker and play around with things, never totally sure where I'm going, but knowing when I get there. I find that I'm often jealous, though, of those who are more conceptual, particularly when it comes to creating art. Somehow it seems to me that the essence of being an artist is knowing where you're going. Intellectually I know this isn't true, but emotionally, I have a hard time letting go of that proposition.

I think that part of my discomfort with the more experimental approach is the feeling that I get that our society values conceptual innovation more. We're drawn to early genius and to the idea of having a clear, knowable path. Somehow there's a kind of comfort in believing that people know where their going and what they're doing and the idea of evolution of ideas is disconcerting--what if they end up some place that we don't like?

I find, though, that lately I'm getting more comfortable with this more experimental way of living. I'm trying to actually be thoughtful in my experimentation, to know and accept that it's my own way of getting through life. I'm working on accepting that and being OK with uncertainty. It also means having to let go of perfectionism and embracing risk, but hey, at almost 43 years old, isn't it time that I did those things anyway?"

taken from http://lovekandinsky.blogspot.com/

and i shall post up some of my FYP illustrations soon! prolly just photos tho.

>>back to work!