Monday, September 03, 2012

{teaching myself patience}

i used to think that the most important part of making any kind of art--and making it well--was having massive amounts of raw talent. being born with the ability to translate what you see or feel with your fingers onto paper, or canvas, or whatever. but this week i realized it might be something else, actually. it might be patience. the willingness to sit still and try until you convey what you want to. the willingness to learn how to do something that you're not a natural at.

most of the time, i get a kick out of sitting down for five minutes and sketching something up really quickly with a thick pen and very little detail. a finished product with minimal effort. in between washing the dishes and running out the door to get groceries. something to look at and smile at and crumple up and throw away.

i am lazy; i know this about myself. i'm easily distracted and constantly needing to move on to something new. i don't use a ruler. i draw in pen because i don't feel like doing it in pencil and then going back over it. {if i make a mistake, i'll work it into the picture.} i am surprised and a little embarrassed when someone likes something i've drawn because i know it's sloppy and i know i didn't put much into it.

lately though, i'm trying to counteract my instinctual laziness.  i have been sitting down with a full french press and the short stories of f. scott fitzgerald on audio book and practising my patience. trying to notice little things and learning how to put them down on paper. trying not to rush myself and teaching my fingers not to take shortcuts. {but i still draw in pen and i still don't use a ruler. give me a break, i'm trying.}

this week, my patience project was the wallpaper in my living room. because nothing will teach you patience, artistically or otherwise, like drawing repetitious black and white flowery flourishes with a fine-tipped pen.

and nothing will make you prouder than putting some effort into something for once and having it turn out exactly the way you wanted it to.