Or: A shoutout to colouring books.
Or: What I learned from an artist.
As you might have noticed I haven’t drawn in a while. I recently excused myself with having so much to do, all that uni stuff and so on… That wasn’t the entire truth. I want to tell you the whole story.
In the city where I moved to, there is an art school kind of thing and I wrote the artist if I can talk to her. She told me to bring some of my work and I went there. Extremely nervous. I’ve never shown my work to an artist before. My teacher in school didn’t know about my portraits, this is a really personal thing.
She was extremely kind and I really liked talking to her. I brought the big folder with all my portraits and she looked over them. I think – and I don’t want to interpret that wrong – she didn’t like them very much. This is no problem, she was just being honest.
It was a great conversation and she said what I could improve, all the little flaws the pictures had. Deepen the contrasts, focus on the proportions, use more colours. It was very helpful to realise that. I can show you some of the works she really did like.
Do you know why? It’s something original. Something that I made out of my mind and my heart. Not only copying but interpreting, doing something with the picture.
She showed me some of her own fantastic work, her paintings, her studio… It was amazing. Showed me the portraits other artists did, photorealistic and mindblowing. She told me that I have to find my own style, know what I want to do, where I want to get so that one can recognise my pictures… I don’t know if I want that. Focus on one thing.
You know, I do a lot of things, not only in art. I love to sing and dance and play the piano, I read and write poems and stories and paint and draw and play the saxophone a tiny little bit and I learn(ed) English and French and Latin and now Spanish… I’m a person that doesn’t focus on one thing. It really bothered me that she told me to devote myself to this one style.
When I was leaving, she gave me another advice: Create, create, create. Which is actually really good, that is what I’m always saying to my friend who tries writing a book: Write, write, write! To be an artist you have to make art.
And now the unfortunate part of it: I couldn’t do it anymore. I tried sketching in my sketchbook, put some colours on some paper, drew some lines of a portrait… It didn’t work! I was devastated and first had to call my dad. That’s what you do if you have an artistic identity crisis. He helped me up again but I still couldn’t draw. I remembered what a very dear friend of mine said about the artist: She isn’t right in everything she says, you know? Who tells you that she knows all that stuff and that it works for you?
All of those lovely things did help but not for making art.
However… finally today I sat down. With a colouring book. (I know there are huge discussions about them, I will not join! This is just my point of view)
With unsharpened pencils, with a mind that was not quite relaxed and some Tom Rosenthal music on. What can I say to you? It was lovely. I could just let the colours flow, just as I liked. The shapes are given so you don’t need to worry about that. It was so much more free to know that no one will ever see this. Don’t get me wrong, I love sharing my art with you but if the thought of people watching, changes the process of making it – one should stop. This is what I did and it couldn’t have been better.
So what can you expect now? It will take some time before I come back to drawing like before. I will need it to figure out what I really want to make, what I want to put out in the world and what I want to share with you. Maybe I’ll post some more thoughts that I have at the moment and I hope you forgive me for that. This blog is just getting more personal and I like it that way.
If you have questions or suggestions or anything you like to share – please do so in the comments so that we can have a little chat.
Lots of love