Monday, January 26, 2015

Artistic Disclosure

Last week I really hit a frustrated wall. Earlier in my development, such a wall would generally inspire me to give up. It was the result of basically not working on a comic for 3 years. Doing art that was almost exclusively figure san ground.

I had three panels to draw which I assumed would be no big deal, without giving anything away they are:

A woman sitting at her desk looking bored (face not visible)
A woman inspecting an item before putting it in her shopping basket (face not visible)
A woman waiting for a bus. (face not visible)

Not exactly mind blowing or groundbreaking stuff. But when I sat down to draw, it didn't come easily.

In fact the first one only came together yesterday. Here though is how wildly shit spirals out of control for me.

First I assume that I can draw it, it will come easily it's just a matter of sitting at a desk and putting pencil to paper. That doesn't happen, then I realise I don't know how to draw. Or more specifically, I only know how to draw a narrow range of things. I'm going to have to learn how to do this shit, from scratch.

Second, I start to compare myself to successful artists, established artists, then more generally the relative strategic position of everyone my age. I start to appraise the exact predicament I am in if my pathway to success is suddenly proved unviable.

Thirdly, I panic, and realise I have no retreat. My fall-back has lapsed. What I have to do has to work, and if it doesn't I am royally screwed.

I am, in other words, fucked. Completely fucked.

But these are all thoughts, normally kept private. The second position is actually where all the damage is, the third one while still being a negative illusion actually is the start of the solution. When you realise you have no retreat, you just breath out, let go of whatever easy vision you expected to happen and figure you are just going to have to take longer and do it harder than you expected.

For any comparison to be both valid and helpful, the only real thing that could differ between me and my comparative is luck. And that don't matter. They will be just as vulnerable to future misfortune as I am lacking in past fortune. Comparison is really useless.

What's confronting I guess is that I have a real job as an artist. There's stuff I need to get done, and sometimes I don't know how to do it. My job is to just figure out how to get some task accomplished.

I figured out these panels eventually. It wasn't pretty, but I did it.

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