I want to sketch & draw more this year. I’ve commanded this to my art-making brain in years past, but as weeks ticked by on the calendar, other priorities elbowed the notion into a dark cupboard. Very frustrated – by my very own self. I follow the Canadian artist Marc Taro Holmes. He features tips and tricks (& fantastic art) related to urban sketching. A few weeks ago, he did a live sketch event on facebook, using the app Sktchy. See below.
Be warned though: if you follow a large swath of artists there, looking at everyone’s amazing art and the reference photos that inspired it, can be both uber inspiring, and a deep vortex of time consuming and not creating. But, if you want to draw more, and you’re inclined to sketch faces and figures, you might enjoy Sktchy. It’s free.
Being on the West Coast, I don’t have many opportunities to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, but I do peruse their web site to nudge my art-making brain awake if I need an inspirational boost. This month, they’ve given open access to 375,000 images of public domain works in their digital catalogue. The art is available for reference, re-mixing, teaching and sharing, without restriction. (Insert wagging tail and toothy grinned sprint to the art studio.) They’re also listing key information under each artwork, otherwise known as tombstone data – that is title, maker, date, culture, medium, and dimensions – on all 440,000 artworks that the Museum has digitized to date. If you’re an art teacher, take a moment for yourself to happy-dance around the neighborhood & sing loud & festive. I can imagine high school students making mashup composites from Vermeer, Van Gogh and Degas for their iphone cases. I love good news. Read about their announcement here.
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.
Sometimes, all it takes is a new app to inspire a tepid beginning. Other times, it takes a weekend of experts telling you things you intuitively knew, but hadn’t clarified into actionable steps, to light a fire of beginning under your feet. Either way, the bottom line is this: if you have something in you, and you’d like to express it, let it out. Even if its only for you, and you alone, kick that critic to the curb, and open the door. How is your first draft coming along? Are you art supplies moving? What’s stopping you?
Lets get some work done.
I’ll see you in the next post –
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You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.
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