My sketchbook from The Sketchbook Project has arrived!
I’m so excited! I know it doesn’t look like much now, but once I get at the cover…well, it’ll be something. I don’t know what yet. My theme is “Why did the owl make everyone laugh?” so there will likely be owls involved. I like that it’s really simple—there’s nothing so intimidating as a really elaborate sketchbook. I always think the things that I draw in it won’t be worthy!
My goal here isn’t to make beautifully finished drawings; I want them to be messy and not always successful. People might be looking at this in an up-close-and-personal way and I want to show everything that goes into drawing, including all the erased lines and ink blots. I remember going to see Andrew Wyeth’s Helga paintings when they were showing in Detroit. You could get right up close to the paintings and see all the scrubbing and spatters. There were places where he’d torn the surface of the paper away to make a snow patch in the painted grass. It was the first time I realized that creating art involved real paint-slinging, ripping, tearing work. Art wasn’t about making a perfect mark every time you set pencil to paper; it was about the struggle to get the idea in your head out into the world, however hard that might turn out to be. That’s why I think this Sketchbook Project is a great idea. Looking at these books will show how art is built—blots and all!
Well, I actually did manage to post something every day this month, so count that as a WIN! On the other hand, it’s pretty obvious that I just don’t do enough exciting things to make a blog post every day worth anyone’s time. So I think I’ll stick with the posting when I’ve thought about something enough to say something interesting about it.
On that note, I heard through RedBubble about The Sketchbook Project, where anyone, anywhere in the world, can order a sketchbook from the Art House Co-Op, fill it up with art, poetry, whatever, and send it back to be displayed in the Brooklyn Art Library. Permanently.
Having a room full of original sketchbooks made by people all over the world sounds pretty damn cool. If I lived in Brooklyn, I’d be there right now. I’m tempted to join in, but the deadline for submitting the filled sketchbooks is April 2012. Yes, that should be plenty of time, but I am the Great Procrastinator; I can imagine running right up to March and having only half the book filled. It’s 32 pages, plus the covers. Could I manage it? Maybe I could actually grow a SPINE and crack down on this whole art thing. It would be great to participate. It would be AMAZING to participate.
Should I do it?
After yesterday’s post, I started wondering why doing client work makes me think I’m “settling.” Granted, I can’t always draw my favorite subject matter or use my favorite medium when I’m working for someone else, but that doesn’t mean that I need to sell myself short. Those assignments that are outside my comfort zone are a challenge and any result that passes muster should be viewed as a success. I guess I could argue that I might not think it was up to my standards, but how do I set standards on something I’ve never done before? And even if I have done it before, maybe I’m doing it better, or more efficiently, or more accurately. There’s a never-ending learning curve in art. If you find you’re doing things the same way all the time, there’s probably something wrong. So, from now on, I’m going to focus on how I’m doing my work, not just on the result. I’m thinking I’ll find things to be proud of.
And if not, I’ll just tear it up.
I destroy stuff. I mean, my own stuff. Sometimes I work on something for days or weeks and, finally, at the end, decide it just doesn’t make the cut. And I tear it up and throw it away.
I’ve had some people tell me that’s the wrong thing to do; they say that just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean someone else won’t. And they’re right, of course. Just as there are billions of people on the planet, there are billions of ways to love (or hate) art. But I think that’s all beside the point. When I’m working on something, as long as I’m not doing it specifically for someone else, mine is the only opinion that matters. And when I’m working like that, for myself, without someone else’s needs in mind, I don’t have to settle for anything but what I want. There’s no “Well, that’ll have to do…” or “If I had time, I could do it better….” It’s simply “Yes,” or “No.”
That’s a luxury I don’t often get as a freelancer, so I intend to take advantage of it whenever necessary. Even if it means I have nothing to upload because I, um, tore it up.
There’s just something about Sunday afternoons.
Saturday is full of promise and even Sunday morning has potential. But by Sunday afternoon you realize that the insane amount of things you thought you were going to accomplish over the weekend are largely still there on your to-do list, staring up at you mockingly, and you end up
a) sitting around in a funk or
b) playing silly online games.
Or both, especially when you start losing said silly online games.
And, somehow, this makes Sunday afternoons entirely worthwhile.
I’m going to win this game before the day is over—mark my words!