Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The climb

I'm making some conscious changes. I've made conscious changes before but then slip back. Maybe that will happen again but a temporary move forward is better than no move forward at all.

It's like drawing. Okay so some of you artists out there blow me away and I can't possibly compare. But I bet you have some drawing habits, that probably started in your teens, that became your default way of drawing certain things. And you can improve and move past them. Learn better ways of doing things. But if you do 100 drawings in a row, you'll see those habits creep back and, by drawing 100, there'll be quite a bit of your teenage drawing in there.

I'm right, aren't I?

We learn and we get better. But those ways we learned, those patterns, they are still there somewhere. And it's by consciously overcoming them and by learning new patterns (in drawing, by repetition) that we can be better artists.

Well, you good artists anyway.

I think it goes far beyond drawing. It is simply how we live. We fall back on patterns. And those patterns, while often easier (even though it may not seem that way, we have to be getting something out of them on some level), are not always good for us.

But, with drawing, I think you have to see your patterns - that my hands always look like big gloves, for example - before you can really catch them and make them better.


Andy Latham said...

You're talking about what I'm trying to do there. I'm in a concious period of trying to break drawing habits. And it seems to be making me happier.

I noticed recently that I was getting very very depressed, to the point where I've worried that there's something medically wrong with me. You'll know better than most about that Bitter. Whether there is actually anything wrong with me is beyond my knowledge, but I have discovered that I feel a hell of a lot better when I'm learning something new. Usually I'll draw and draw and draw, and I'll get depressed at my efforts. It'll really get me down. But recently I've noticed that if I draw something and learn from it, then I flip to a happy state of mind. It need only be a small thing like noticing how a particular muscle wraps around a bone. Just something that builds a new link in my brain rather than just using the existing links.

I think maybe that can be applied to wider fields than drawing too - maybe even to life itself. Keep learning.

Red Pill Junkie said...

It's scary to break a habit. Take your drawing analogy; suppose Alex Ross wanted to try some new style. Chance are most people would reject this because they expect a certain art style coming from him. He's now bound to his signature style for life.

I think the only person who managed to break that was Chris Watterson, when he decided to give up his successful Calvin & Hobbs strip. He's now free to pursue passion about painting... then again, chances are nobody will ever see those paintings, but I don't think he cares about that anymore.

CastaƱeda said that you had to be aware of your routines and destroy them, lest they end up controlling you. It's kinda hard, because that would ultimately mean ending all your social relationships. I don't think most people would like to o that far; but it's true what he says, that the people who know us have a clear mental picture of who we are, and they won't let us change that picture.