Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Almost fried my head

If you've been keeping up with my tweets, you may know already I've been going through massive backlogs of my work backups and trying to organize them.

Well, after going through about 30k files, removing duplicates and putting them in year-appropriate folder, the whole ordeal was done after nearly a week of shifting stuff around. Now all my older stuffs are neatly organized and are ready to be posted on the blog (I now just need to find a way to present it nicely.)

But the problem with staring at your old works for an extended time is that it affects your brain in a way that you almost literally time travel into your past, when your drawing skill was less effective. Even after I was done with looking through my old stuff, my mind was so taken back to the previous era, I had trouble wrapping my head around how I painted now.

That brings me to another, similar point that I've been unconsciously (or at most semi-consciously) avoiding looking at badly drawn art for quite some time. There's just something about art that is purely cognitive-driven, quite different from other activities such as playing a sport, riding bicycle, and such. You could at some point completely forget to 'draw well' (commonly known as artist's block) and also sometimes to draw well, you just need to change the way you think - as opposed to gradual build-up of skills and strength through training as seen commonly in other more physical activities.

I have been aware of this (self developed) theory thus the reason for one of my artist's commandments, so it's no surprise to me. Rather the big surprise was that my brain almost felt like I was back in time few years ago, not memory-wise, but art mentality-wise.

Because of this, for few days I struggled to bring myself up to date, looking again at my more recent works literally layer-by-layer to figure out what I did now. Even then drawing felt rather unnatural and different.

What to do now?

Well, the only rightful cure I felt was to draw things that gets me going and motivates me. B&A.

I feel pretty fresh now that I've got this out of my system. Although I'm unsure of how back in form I am.

Finally, the moral of the story: For times when you get blocked, either creatively or motively (not a word but I'm making up one now), you gotta have something you consistently enjoy that you can always go back to for a quick sketch or painting, to refresh your brain. If you enjoy drawing it, you will draw it well, and if you draw it well, you'll gain your confidence back. And when you're confident, you'll draw even better.

The top piece is based on this older, unfinished piece from 2007 or 2008 when I used to do art series called 'Something' which included series of girls in different settings and themes. This piece was one of the failures that never saw the light of day. Well, until now.

I could literally spend next few years just re-doing all my old unfinished pieces. The entertainment value I get out of these are almost endless.

Anyways, now the B&A is out of the way (for now), I've some work to get back to...

That is all.