Hi Hiller- when I was younger I loved to draw. I'm an adult now and for some reason when I sit down in front of a piece of paper I don't know what to do. What advice do you have for a grown up who forgot how to draw?
that’s a tricky one. Sitting in front of a blank piece of paper is
probably the most intimidating thing and has always been kind of scary
for me. I’ve come up with a list of things for you to try to make
drawing a bit easier.
A. Work on old paper/materials. End papers from discarded books, craft pads from second hand stores, a notepad from grandma’s junk drawer, a cool piece of wood you find in a dumpster, stuff like that. It takes away the pressure of having to create a perfect thing if the material you’re working on is already flawed or smells weird.
B. Draw a lot. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad. Only a small fraction of things I draw end up being shared, maybe every one out of twenty things will be decent. What people don’t see is the heap of not-so-great things I create in the process of making that one thing. If you’re drawing different ideas all the time, and thinking of how to make those ideas better when you’re not drawing, eventually you will get better and the good ideas will come more easily and more frequently.
C. It’s incredibly hard to draw when you are overly prepared to draw. Sitting down with the intent to create a perfect drawing adds a terrible amount of pressure and is the thing that trips so many people up and makes it hard to even start creating in the first place. Draw informally, when you’re watching television or listening to music. Watch a movie and draw a picture of something you hear that would be interesting when taken out of context. Try to not think too much about it. Approach drawing from an angle, not head on, if that makes sense.
D. Finding your subject matter can also be difficult and may be what you’re actually talking about here. A few things influence the content of my drawings:
- Inspiration from the world around me.
Other artists’ work, books I read, music, conversations I have while
waiting to buy groceries, things like this.
- My feelings and internal dialogue, what I’m thinking about or am moved by or want to express to others. Daydreams, real dreams, imagined conversations are all good sources for drawing material as they are things that no one else would ever know about unless you expressed them.
- My ability as an artist. I am less of an M. C. Escher and more of a
David Shrigley. You have to find the right spot on the infinitely wide
spectrum of art in which you can create work that you like and you think
is good. I like drawing amorphous shapes and faces and fun things, so
that is where I’m currently situated. Agnes Martin drew lines and dots
and is well known because she was super good at it.
at some point, 1, 2, and 3 will come together and allow you to create
something that you consider great or good or even okay will do
I think those are four good things to think about. The very beginning is the hardest part when it comes to making art, I wish we could all just skip it. Hopefully this will help you, and maybe others, get started again.