I wish I forced myself to sit and sketch more often than I do. It isn’t that I don’t have time, embarrassingly; I just tend to get distracted with other things like television, facebook, the internet in general. I’m well aware of the benefits of adding sketching to my regular artistic practices.
I prefer to sketch with pen—not because my work is perfect and flawless the moment my drawings touch the page. My reason is basically the exact opposite. If I allow myself to work in pencil—if I allow myself the opportunity to erase, that’s exactly what I will do—over, and over, and over ineffectively searching for some form of perfection. When I sketch with ink, I am able to keep in mind that I am just sketching. It allows me to play with various visual concepts and combinations of imagery. And then move on. Letting my work be whatever it is–and being okay with that.
Sketching is about the process, enjoying the creativity flowing through me in its raw form, allowing myself to focus on the moment, being in the present—it isn’t about the finished imagery. Of course, sketches can (and do) provide a fantastic reference for other future, more thoughtfully developed, artworks. That shouldn’t be reason behind their creation.
If I am solely sketching with the intention of later developing the drawings into a final piece, my mind goes blank. I feel overwhelmed, anxious and inept.
Inspired by one of my first artist dates, several weeks ago now. I sat on my comfortable green sofa with a dog curled up next to me on either side, listening to music, I allowed my mind to wander. My thoughts became absorbed in the music, I began creating lines and imagery inspired by the lyrics, memories associated with the song, or images that just came to mind.
Sketching helps to improve my drawing ability and makes me feel calm, content, and art-happy.
I’ve already touched on music as an inspiration and influence. Before I started blogging, I hadn’t really analyzed the where/what/who of inspiration in my work. Forcing myself to look deeper into my art has made me feel more connected to it. In turn, this inspires me more, which provides more for me to write about. It’s quite a delightful cycle.