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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Drawing & Why It Means So Much To Me

My interest in drawing started when I was around 10 years old at middle school. One day, I was drawing something - I forgot what it was- and when one of the teachers looked at it, they said they liked it. After that, I drew other things and by then the other kids in the school took notice. 

I took art and design at high school, but then, I spent most of my time in hospital and had an operation on my abdomen/belly and spent a couple of months recuperating. I didn't do much drawing, but when I had fully recovered, I started drawing again. At the end of high school at 16 years of age, I ended up with a grade E or F.... in art and design. 

I consider myself to be a self-taught artist; I have taken life drawing classes in college but it was on a part-time basis. Other than that, I learnt how to draw myself just by doing it, without supervision. I believe the skills and what I had learnt during my time on the courses has helped me develop my drawing skills, overtime. 

As much as I would love to be a real artist and make money out of my work, I do not make any profit from my drawings, as I don't put them on sale. I don't sell my drawings, and I have no intention to. Art and drawing for me, is a personal thing that goes beyond putting a price of a creation on a canvas or piece of paper. 

I love drawing so much: for the challenge it possesses, for the pride I take in my work, to improve on my skills, for the joy of artistic expression, & for creating something that is mine.

I feel as though drawing is such an important part of who I am and my personality, that I fear that by selling it, it would lose its sense of worth and passion that I have put into creating it in the first place. 

Arguably, in my opinion (and people can feel free to disagree on this), drawing is the most original -yet under-appreciated art form known to man over the likes of dance, music, acting, painting, photography. I mean, those art forms are amazing in their own right. But drawing has been around for so many years and is still practiced today, and still to this day and age, it is criminal that it doesn't get the appraisal and media coverage it deserves. 

Without drawing, the art world and the world in general, would cease to see people's creations in art galleries and museums, in advertising and movie posters, comic books, video games, CD and DVD covers, as well as on social media and networking, and apps such as Instagram. 

I enjoy drawing people and characters the most; predominately video game and cartoon characters and celebrities. I would describe my style as 'semi-realistic', but I want my work to look more detailed, polished, refined and realistic. I want to try and make each drawing look better than the last and to improve each and every time. That has been my intention since I began drawing at a young age, and yet that will never change for me. I really want to get better and better, and I know I can go one step, or two steps further than I usually do when I draw. 

In terms of my approach, I start doing the outlines in pencil, then go over them in black biro, and after that erase the pencil lines. I like drawing with a biro, because to me it is like a pencil but more darker. The type of biro I prefer drawing with is one with a thinner tip or a bic fine. I just like how thin the lines look when I draw with it.  

When I draw, I focus so much on making sure the drawing turns out right and looks right. I know that often I tell people to do the best they can, but with art, and my art especially, when I draw a real-life person, I want it look like him or her and/or as the photo on the internet or magazine. I am 'zoned in' in getting their noses to look right, their lips in the right shape, the face isn't too large or small. The only aspects of the face I don't dwell too much on is the hair. Hair can be time-consuming to draw, and when you do it, you end up making sure each line is perfect and correct. If i were to spend 2 hours or more drawing hair alone, I'd lose interest in my work altogether. 

Drawing faces is my speciality; I just enjoying drawing them because a) they vary to a degree and b) facial expressions express a wide range of emotions and feelings that I want to capture on paper. I regard it as one of the most challenging and interesting things to draw. The human face is one of the most intricate things to get right, inasfar as posture, accuracy, detail, composition and perspective goes. 

Sadly, I'm not one of those people, who can draw from memory. I am not an illustrator. It is a unique skill to have though and I commend people who do it really well. I have to constantly refer to the photo or image. But I don't see it as a negative thing, rather it enables you to see the little details that one may have trouble depicting on canvas, without the photo. 

And yes there have been times when I ended up scrunching up that drawing and chucking it in the bin, because it looked 'wrong' to me. But that's the challenge art poses, & one I am not going to give up on. 

I take a lot of pride in my work and how it looks that I go to great lengths in making sure it looks 'right' to me, and that when others see it, it looks 'right' to them.

I noticed that with age, as I get older and the more I draw that my drawings and my drawing style develops and changes little by little, with each stage. I remembered the way I drew characters, people when I was 10, and they looked so much different then. I wished I still had those drawings on me today just to contrast and compare with my current drawing skills.

My favourite artists are Shinkiro, Greg Horn, Alex Ross and Gabrielle Dell'otto. Those would be my 4 favourites. The skill levels they all possess individually, is incredible. They each bring something different and unique to the table and plus, their styles captivate and speak to me on so many levels. 


I don't want to become a better artist, for the sake of being better than all the other artists. Rather I want to become a better artist for myself. That is the biggest challenge of them all. It's a personal one as well, but still big. I want to improve for me and myself only. 

As for the term 'professional', it tends to get labelled as a person who has worked in the industry or area for a long time on a paid basis, but that isn't (necessarily) true. I wouldn't call myself a professional, because it could be taken in the wrong context, and seen in a 'cocky' manner. I am 33, but considering I have been drawing since I was 10 years old, does that make the word professional redundant? No, not at all. I can live with the term artist, without 'professional' in it. 

If I was to offer advice to anyone who wants to draw or to get better at drawing, it would be, to keep drawing, as much as you can and when as you can too. Doesn't matter if you have no intention in getting a job as an artist. That or if you are not taking up art in college or school. You can do art as a past-time, to keep you occupied when you are not working. Keep doing what you are doing, post it on social media, and then people will soon take notice. 

People often say 'I can't draw'; they say they can't, but I say they can. You can. Anyone can draw - you just need to be able to see, visualize things, elements really well to replicate it on paper. 

Also, never compare yourself to other artists - you're making art by yourself, you're not making it for other people. This is not a competition or contest deciding who is the greatest artist in the world. Art is not (as) subjective as others make it out to be - what one person thinks of his/hers art, that piece of art they created is their own creative style, take on the concept, idea. Which is unique. The aesthetic nature of art may be the same, but how we experience it differs with each person. When we see art for ourselves, we sense it, feel it and that his/hers style speaks to us on many different levels. 

By comparing yourself and saying 'my art skills or drawing is terrible', you're only putting yourself down and discouraging yourself from drawing. I never compare my art and art skills with any other person - I acknowledge and embrace my style and continue to develop it. In my mind, it doesn't exist. The whole 's/he is better than or worse than me' argument is something I never bring up. Because it is so discouraging and does no wonders to any artist. 



Instead, I offer praise, words of encouragement and congratulate them on their efforts. For me, it is about effort, moreso than technique. As long as they try and give it a go, that's important. 

Take no notice of the criticism people make towards your art, or even still, see the constructive criticism or feedback as a form of 'tough love' and help it spur you on and to improve on your drawing skills. 

When I draw, especially things that interest me, it brings me joy, happiness and it further prolongs my interest in the art form. 

The more you draw, the better you will get. And who knows, you may get a few positive comments out of it too. 

*You can find my art on Img.ly  

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