I’ve started this year with a simple challenge, to REALLY learn how to draw.
Go back to basics, back to what it means to be curious.
I want to push myself to understand how things actually look rather than what I imagine them to look like.
To draw a person or an object and not look at it enough is a bad habit, one I am aware I possess.
Breaking bad habits
After a couple of epiphanies, I have suddenly become aware of these blind spots and am working to address them, while hopefully still creating some nice images.
Blind spots are called blind spots for a reason.
We all have those bad habits that we aren't aware of, or do things that affect our performance and confidence in our chosen discipline.
They are hidden from us, although quite often obvious to others, something needs to click before we realise what we are doing.
It takes an epiphany or a better understanding of the self before you can finally see, and address these hidden issues.
You often have to silence the ego first!
Although working on those bad habits out is essential, it always leaves me with the same feeling “why wasn’t I sorting this out years ago?”
I think a big part of overcoming your technical blind spots or your creative fallibilities is the experience you have gained over time.
My illustration tutor used to tell me about the importance of looking at your subject matter, I never truly understood what he meant back then.
As obvious as it may seem, I thought I knew what I needed to do.
I was looking, but not looking hard enough.
I didn't take much of an interest in looking at things.
I wasn't spending enough time on the subject matter, analysing the shapes, the colours, the proportions.
It was boring to me.
As much as I listen to advice it takes an epiphany and endless practice to truly get it.
I have had to combine several techniques, books and my failed (but useful.. and fun) years at university to now understand how to draw from life, and I am nowhere near up to the standard I want to be at.
The important thing is that confidence grows with repetition and experience really counts.
Despite the feeling of wasted time, of not understanding, I do understand that the journey is what shapes the artist and I wouldn't change anything.
The only thing I regret is the years spent not practising but even then I was making music so it was still feeding my creativity.
If there was one piece of advice I could give to anyone that draws, illustrates or paints it's to learn how to look at things properly.
My latest work (in between projects) is all about improving my understanding of the female form.
I found some great images online. I tried to find some proper life drawing poses as well as fashion photo shoots and some erotic images too.
It's probably not uncommon to feel like you aren't good enough, it's part of what makes you strive to improve so when I do finally attend it'll be the voice in my head telling me to "Just do it and stop being an idiot!"
It's all being documented on my Instagram through stories and posts.
I'm going to start attending life drawing classes soon, it's been a while since I did it and there is an element of fear I need to overcome.