Friday, November 12, 2010

Thoughts on Drawing and Success

Pearl Among SwineThese past few days have been difficult ones. For no reason that I can fathom, I go through periods of increased ticking episodes. That is what I've been experiencing this week. 

Yesterday it was a ticking episode in Borders that I had to ride out for an hour before I could come home. Today it was a canceled hair appointment because my back was arching violently, thus making sharp implements near my face a bit of a dangerous pursuit. Even now my head feels as if the brain is floating around disconnected. I'm not ticking at the moment, but I could again very soon.

There is a pending storm in my mind, bristling with energy like bolts of motion and crashes of thought. While it brews I sit it out, but I'm as exposed to the storm as a picnic bench on a hilltop. During the storm I try to read uplifting material. Anything to make better use of my twitching, but immobilized time.

Today I decided to finally get through an issue of Drawing magazine that I've been dying on since Winter 2009. And as usual I just couldn't get into the articles. Clearly, there is something wrong with a five page article about Leonardo da Vinci that spends four pages discussing Vitruvius, but then I moved on to an article about drawing lips that bored me within a few sentences. After reading (finally!) a wonderful article about James Jean filled with scans of his Moleskine sketches as well as his thoughts on his sketching process, I came across an epiphany.      

For the first time, I finally figured out what has been wrong with the magazine for me (and its other brethren in the reading pile). Why do I buy these stupid things if I just let them sit in a pile unread? What is wrong with me?

Nothing. I just don't like to read about art theory. I like to look at the pictures. I like to read about the process. I love to read about how other artists approach their art. But I absolutely cannot stand stuffy discussions about art theory. It's like sitting in my Drawing Theory class at 8am for two hours every day all summer long all over again. I thought I would go insane then. So pretentious. So dull. And here I am buying magazines filled with the stuff because I think it will make me a better artist.
What will make me a better artist is drawing more, not reading about it. Not unless the reading inspires me to draw. This is why I've been so pleased with my 50 WPD goal. I have written in my novel every day this week well over 50 words, but more importantly, I have written every day. In fact, I haven't written today and I feel a bit anxious to get to work on it. I used to feel this way about art before the neurological damage from psych meds. I would draw for hours at a time, completely engrossed. It is hard for me to do that anymore. The psych meds damaged that part of my mind. But considering the success I'm having with my writing, perhaps I'm simply biting off more than I can chew. Perhaps I'm expecting too much of myself all at once. Perhaps I just need to set a very small goal to see very large results. It's something to consider for next year. 

In the meantime, I haven't ticked since starting this blog. Perhaps I should quickly work in my novel while I still have the chance. Onwards.  
Follow me on Twitter for my ADHD escapades at @SplinteredMind or my novel writing project over at @DouglasCootey. And if you're a glutton for punishment you can friend me on Facebook as well.