Sketch Sessions 4 a.m. WIP Edition
Portrait of someone I recently met from the Netherlands. A very inspiring person that made me think "You're too cool to be real." I appreciate people that I'm lucky to meet that inspire me to draw them. The opposite can be such a downer. Past relationships were possible in part because the women involved were an inspiration in one form or another. Except for one person and I initially I couldn't figure out why that was. Each time I tried to sketch or draw her, it just wouldn't work. Either the results were terrible or I just wasn't feeling it enough to go beyond a basic scribble sketch. The last attempt left me so disgusted I never made another. Something wasn't quite right, but when I finally learned and accepted what the problem was it proved to be a simple but harsh truth. The relationship started based on a lie (she said she was single but was actually married) and I couldn't completely trust her after that which made smaller problems larger than they should have been. That disappointment, that lack of trust, had a strong, negative effect even on a instinctive creative level.
"Better to be hated for what you are, than to be loved for what you are not."
Art is funny that way. One of the key lessons taught and learned by artists the world over is "learn to see." Learn to see what's truly there, even the implication of what is there in order to better represent the subject in the work. But in order to master that lesson, artists have to be brutally honest with themselves first otherwise it becomes very hard to be honest in the work they're trying to present. Not so different when talking about living life for positive results both internally and externally. How can people be honest/truthful to others if they're constantly lying to themselves? Short answer, they can not. If an artist gives an honest attempt to create a piece but it doesn't work, well that's not so bad because it's an issue of technique which can be solved over time with practice and study. Provided the artist has the dedication and focus to pursue higher creative goals. The honest intent was there even if technically lacking. But if a person lies in their creation, for example, claiming someone else's work as their own, using clip art and stock photos in a piece but pimping it as an original creation or sampling someone else's music but calling the result an original composition, well, that's bullshit art. A lie. Difficult to find inspiration or respect in that.
Similar arguments are had about drawing versus tracing. The accepted mindset of, drawing takes real talent, skill. Tracing takes no skill at all which is why a serious artist wouldn't trace a piece but portray it as a freehand drawn creation. The same as in the relationship example, that a woman could so easily, so casually lie about her relationship status for personal gain, people will lie about their work for the same reasons. Lie for money or position or for the attention. Sometimes all three. Made worse when a person who isn't as good as they claimed comes across someone that is better than they ever were. But the truth of it all never fades and eventually comes to the fore. What then?
Either a person can do what they say they can do, or they can not. Specifically, either an artist can create or they can not. One of the greatest feelings when starting a new project, especially a project for someone else such as the one presented above, is knowing that "I can do this" and actually doing it. No shucking and jiving, no monkeying around with filters or effects. No shortcuts. Just sit down, use real skills and get it done.