Here are some recent sketches of girls, with a bit of a commentary on what why I drew these.
For the last little (or maybe not so little) while, I have been trying to develop my style. Developing a style is hard; adapting it is, in a sense, harder. What I mean is, most artists spend a lot of their time learning to draw in a way that feels correct to them. It often starts by looking quite bad, then it starts looking like someone else, before, finally, becoming something that looks like something identifiable to that artist. Not everyone has or wants to develop a truly unique style, but, I think to some degree every artist, given the freedom, reaches a personal style given enough time.
So, when that personal style is challenged, or becomes stale or restricting, the process of change or adaptation begins.
I admit – I don’t really like change. I like things to be in a similar way; I like my days to be roughly the same most of the time. I like to eat at the same times, I like to sleep at the same time. I like to get groceries on certain days. I like buying the same brand of soap and the same brand of toothpaste (well, usually, unless there’s an awesome sale going on). My personality is, and always has been, quite resistant to change.
Yet, I believe, that when the time comes, change is necessary and perhaps, unavoidable. I know some people welcome change and enjoy the challenge; it can be a rewarding thing. It can also be a frustrating thing and frightening thing.
The process of change for me involves a lot of questioning. I am lucky that I do have some great artist friends that I can talk to. I also have a husband who understands and puts up with all my quasi art-philosophy-babble at home. Change involves an amount of breaking apart and putting back together again; drawing what I know, drawing what I don’t really know. Most importantly, I think, is trying to draw what feels right. And since feel is truly a gut-instinct, it’s hard to pin down what is and isn’t right, and it can be a stressful sort of thing to go through. Even though I’ve been drawing for a long time, I constantly am conflicted between drawing what I feel is right, and drawing that I think is right.
I believe, though, that there is always a meeting point if one searches hard enough to find it. Something that for a period, the the right balance of feel and look. Sometimes the result is something very different; other times it’s similar to what came before. I’m not sure what the eventual result will be; I’m still working through sketches when I can, and trying alternatives other times. In another post I’ll do soon, I’ll cobble together some of these alternatives to show what else I’m been drawing in my search for my (nebulous) answer.