All of my posts can now be found on Twitter and Tumblr! I’ve been on Twitter for several years, but Tumblr allows me the freedom to toss together all the things that interest me in the media stream. It’s an experiment. Ought to be fun. Please stop by.
This isn’t a post about playing games on Twitter, so if that’s what you are looking for, keep searching. What I’m thinking about is the aggressive quest for Twitter numbers. I’ve gotten some, I suppose, well-intentioned comments encouraging me to Follow all my Followers or no one will share my work and I will have no audience. Well, that may be true, but considering I am posting this missive to a blog that at best gets 7 reads, winning the popularity contest is not really that high on my priority list. Obviously.
I’d like to think that the people who Follow me on Twitter do it because they like my work or maybe like the things I choose to share from other feeds–that’s why I follow the ones I follow. It’s not bribery; it’s feeding my mind on the pleasures of the kind of intellectual companionship I love the best. Now, I admire a man-with-a-plan as much as anyone, but in this part of my life, because my work means so much to me, I don’t want to lean on strategies and gamesmanship. I want the work to stand on its own, or even fall, if that’s the merits of it.
It could be that I am thinking about this all wrong, and I’d be interested to hear some opinions on the matter, but for now, I am happy with my tiny, yet honest, market share.
The new inking technique, which I’ve been developing all week… I like these. The style is linear, the form structured by the new hatching style, an exploration of deep shadow, but there is also an element of my old, freer scribble.
This one took me two days to complete.
It’s probably better than almost everything I’ve done before, so I can’t put my finger on why I’m not satisfied with it, but I’m not. Perhaps I’m spending too much time looking at the very skilled work that Jamie Hewlett is posting on Instagram these days, or maybe it’s the miles of images by Moebius and Sergio Toppi that I’ve been ingesting lately that make my work look so milky and anemic by comparison. Posting to Twitter is great for its kudos and positivity, which definitely helps to keep me going, but right now, what I need is a crit and that means it may be time to line up a class for the fall. There’s only so much you can learn on your own by reading, imitation and practice.
I think I need a teacher.
“Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make.”–Bruce Lee
posted this quote over on Twitter yesterday and it fell in line with my recent thinking about those “magic moments” I mentioned yesterday. Are they made possible by a loss of self-consciousness? As ego drops away, perhaps the work can at last just get on with itself. Which makes me wonder–Is the delight I feel in these moments only from the skills that manifest or is the exhilaration from the rush of a very pure form of freedom?
Being a hyper-self conscious person, it makes sense that these moments have been rare for me. The two recent events have both been oddly non-ego moments. The first time, drawing with a crayon, and having a very bad day, I had no expectations other than to just do the damn thing. Get it over with, it’s going to be bad anyway… instead, rather the opposite. The other time was very late at night, I was quite tired, but I had just seen something that struck me aesthetically and wanted to try to jot it down while it lasted. Et voila!
I will need to give this more thought…because that’s what I do, I think alot, even though “more thought” seems like the thing I shouldn’t do. All I can do is laugh at myself, and perhaps begin to look forward to being too exhausted or in too foul a mood to draw.
In addition to getting a few thousand words this week toward my current writing project, I also had a variety of drawing and painting opportunities. To the usual fashion sources, I added a study of Braque, David Levine and Jamie Hewlett, some new to me, some less so. In the week ahead, I’d like to continue to paint when I can, but also return to pen and ink. I was looking through some ink drawings in an old sketchbook this morning and was struck by the pure, dense black of the ink. I want to play with that again.
Another incentive to more work was my greater participation in Adam Wiebner’s Twitter page @Draw2Live. Adam curates a collection of posted drawings by a variety of artists, which lately has been sparking some lively conversations. Talking about my work and interests with the others there on Twitter makes me feel engaged in a real community. The feedback is such a motivator! It’s been 4 months now since I decided to start drawing again and it has been every day since then, and every day I want to do it more and more. I’m very excited. I just wish there were more hours in the day…