Yep…I did it in the dark. I drew in my sketchbook with no lights on and it was crazy! (get your mind out of the gutter, perverts :P) I have a magical sketchbook entitled “Drawing is Magic” by John Hendrix. It is kind of like a guide book for artists. I have been trying to rediscover myself in hopes to improve my work.
One of the exercises is to take your book into a movie theater with you. Draw everything and anything you want to about the movie while your watching it. No flashlights, in the dark. At first I was like, “Eh, no problem. The light from the screen will be enough to draw under.”
Nope! In fact, I never really noticed how dark it actually gets in theaters when the movie starts. It was very difficult. I could not see anything on the paper. It was definitely a new experience. Some of my sketches I wasn’t even able to make out anything at the end. It was fun. It gave me the opportunity to draw and have no way to go back and correct myself. My lines were permanent and they were loose, wiggly, squiggly, and all over the place! Nothing made sense and nothing was perfect and I loved it!
I feel like I skipped (or took for granted) a lot of the basics when it came to drawing. I have always had a great talent to draw exactly what I see. Because of this, I felt like a lot of beginner steps didn’t apply to me. Now that I have gotten to a certain point in my work I’ve realized that I couldn’t have made a worse choice. I could see a stiffness in my work. I had lost the “play” part of art. My child-like view was erased. The view of creating anything and no matter how it comes out, it’s still awesome…because I made it. I had become too concerned with perfection. Exactness. Precise detail. Art is suppose to be free and fluent. Not rigid and exact. There is no right or wrong way to do something (especially with art) and for some reason when we become adults we forget that. We get set in our ways and then that’s it. No room for error but to err is human, right? So why are we all so worried about being perfect.
I’m not anymore. I’ve realized I am who I am and I am a lot happier when I can be that person everywhere. I’m not perfect. Very, very far from but I don’t care if people see that anymore. I’ve always been taught to uphold a certain image. It wasn’t an image of me though and that just becomes too stressful. I make mistakes and I have to try things over and over before I can get them right. (I can relate, Charlie Brown!) I’m a mess. I’m a freak and I’m shouting it. Who cares? We’re all freaks, we just have to be honest with the world and it makes it easier to be honest with ourselves.
This exercise gave me the opportunity to be care-free. No stress, no strife. I couldn’t worry about making my drawing look exactly like the image I was seeing. It was relaxing to know I didn’t have to create a spectacular masterpiece and if it came out like childish scribbles in the end, it’s ok. Not everything is perfect and I no longer feel obligated to appear so. I still love my doodles and they make me smile when I see them. I had so much fun doing this experiment. The lesson was great and if your an artist I would recommend giving it a try!
On a side note…
I went to Scotia Cinema with my husband and son to see “The Peanuts Movie” (if you hadn’t noticed). I won’t give anything away but it was a great movie. I had so much fun with my guys and it was a great day. I’m thankful I brought my sketchbook so I can always remember how much fun it was. I think a lot of that came out in my sketches. The fact that I could doodle funny cartoons while hanging out with my family….for me, that’s perfection right there! 😉
Until next time,
“Step one: Forget everything you ever knew about yourself.”