I drew this when I was 22.
Having never even thought about art until I was that age, it seemed like the perfect thing to try to do professionally. With only 2 years of university left, doing a degree related to film, it made me think about the possibilities of communicating without words and it made me start playing around with the idea of learning to draw.
The only real thing that came about from this playing is my realizing that I have absolutely no talent, ability or chance to ever be able to produce anything but a stick figure… a deformed stick figure. So of course I decided I want to do a lot of that. There’s a certain pleasure in masochism I suppose and I think I read somewhere once that we’ll never be happy until we find the thing that we can’t do – and then we’ll want to do it.
So I started trying to learn. Completely on my own, never having been to an art class even in school – that was a time to drink beer and play basketball. To this day I’ve never seen a real, live person draw. It literally took me years to figure out the process of drawing, the appropriate use of lines and tones – things that someone might have been taught in the first month of art school took so long to figure out. When there’s no one to point the way to you, every path seems like it could be the right way, so a lot of self-teaching, I think, is finding out not only what you need to learn, but also the things that you shouldn’t learn, to what degree you should be studying and how elements that you study separately come together to form a whole. Drawing and painting are very holistic. We study aspects of art separately, but they all come together to form one drawing, one piece of art. Art can be like mathematics sometimes, I think, there are a lot of connections that you need to be able to make and to analyse correctly and if there is no one to show you how to apply the correct formulas – you’re in for a lot of heartache.
Having said that – I’ve decided that this is the year I learn to paint in. I’ve gone from – I’ll never be able to, to it’s a matter of work and who I am and what I think about myself is completely irrelevant. Art is a skill, and like any skill your success depends solely upon your dedication, discipline and ability to use right effort. Not only to be practising, but to be constantly analysing your process, to be learning from day to day, to be able to see you’re on the right path, regardless of how you compare to others, what’s important is that you see your own road, not anyone else’s.
I hope to be able to save all of you a lot of time and a lot of frustration, to point you in the right direction as much as I can and to share my learning and experience with whoever is sharing the same road. Good luck 🙂