Blogging gives new meaning to the question, “what makes people click?”  Oh, I guess the question was “what makes them tick?”  Whatever.  I’d be happy to know the answer to either one.

Do you know?  What made you click?

[Top of the post:  Drawing of My Mother as a Young Woman, by Aletha Kuschan, pencil]

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6 thoughts on “the Blogger’s Conundrum

  1. Thanks for the very sweet comment on my drawing… Gave me a little faith in myself. 🙂 And the hand…oh my god. I’ve stayed away from hands and feet for so long i decided last year that I needed to face the challenge and learn how to draw them! 🙂 The hand (as well as the pupils) where my biggest sources of frusteration. 😉

    As for your question. What makes me tick = never just one thing. But the strongest tick I have lately is the feeling of my hard work being appreciated. If my effort goes unnoticed it’s not worth it… and builds a deep vault of bitterness. Pity really, since I should solely rely on myself to get anything done and gain pride.

  2. I’m glad my comment was encouraging. Don’t stay away from the subjects you think are difficult. Go to them first and early and conquer the fear. Draw other things too, of course, but everything you draw is just lines and forms. It’s all complex. If you can draw what you’ve drawn so far, yes, you can draw hands also.

    Any drawing is just “a” drawing, first of many. The more you draw, the better you draw, so getting into it is key. Really let yourself enjoy the process and one thing that helps is concentrating on the subject first, the drawing after. If a drawing bugs you, put it away and come back to it later when you’re in a more objective frame of mind. It will hold surprises, you’ll find good ideas that you weren’t aware of having at the time.

    As for appreciation, it’s a tough one especially in art. Lots of people feel hesitant to suppose that they know what art is — it’s supposed to be this elite thing that only the annointed “get.” Sometimes people are reluctant to comment or praise pictures for that reason.

    You sort of have to be your own audience at first. But it’s not a bad thing because you learn things about yourself. Later it becomes something you share with others.

    Hang in there and keep drawing. I thought your drawing was quite lovely.

  3. my “tick” is for all things in life that I put my mind to, not just drawing. Work for example. I know my boss appreciates what I do so I work even harder. Heh. If i’m trying to quit smoking and people don’t give me credit for the few less cigarettes I take a day, i give up. 😛

    I have a question (or two) though, how long have you been drawing? Did you start as a teenager/adult/kid? How did you get past the frusteration of not being able ot draw what came to mind that is quite natural in the beginning? That’s my biggest problem. I have to take it from a photo or another drawing for a, to me, an acceptable outcome. Very frusterating.

  4. oh, and you’re right about people beign reluctant to show apprecation for art. Although I find that usually it’s because people in general are so good at finding faults that it’s hard to show apprecation. 😉

  5. I drew as a child, pretty much like most kids do, for fun now and then. Got seriously interested in it in high school. I had a very difficult time dealing with frustration, but I think my love for art kept me going back. Looked at lots of art, especially from history. Seeing the extraordinary range of ideas in the history of Western art (to say nothing of the East, of Africa and everywhere else) is very liberating.

    I focused on what I loved and worked from my strenghts, but always tried “hard” things too as a challenge. Challenge yourself but also be kind to yourself.

    Love is a good teacher. Focus on what you love about drawing.

    I have to go for now, but I’ll try to address these questions in the blog. They are excellent questions.

  6. Nightabove, You wrote earlier: “How did you get past the frustration of not being able ot draw what came to mind that is quite natural in the beginning? That’s my biggest problem. I have to take it from a photo or another drawing for a, to me, an acceptable outcome. Very frustrating.”

    Actually, you see, you hit upon a natural way of learning and perhaps you didn’t realize! (More reasons to trust your instincts.) Drawing from a two dimensional image is easier because you are going from one flat image to another.

    For centuries this was exactly how artists were trained: they copied the works of other artists. Drawing from photos can be a good exercise, also, and great source of invention, but in my opinion drawing from other artists’ works is even better. First it involves you in learning about a wide range of other artists, and secondly the artist you copy is teaching you how he/she “translated” something into a particular artistic form.

    Nature has infinite variety and detail. All that your mind is capable of perceiving in just a single object is astounding! So when you copy another artist drawing a face or hands, etc., you are having a silent conversation about what to include and what to ignore. These ideas do not need to become rules or anything like that. But you are just piggy-backing upon someone else’s mastery while learning the ropes. Meanwhile the act of copying firms up your skills since you can compare very clearly where you got it “correct” and where you got it “wrong.”

    But also beware of calling the differences between your drawing and another you’ve copied “mistakes.” Okay, they are partly that. But they can have happy “accidents” in them also, and when you are closest to the event and most involved in thinking you made a “mistake” you are least likely to appreciate these good qualities that were introduced into the image in the parts where you differ from the original.

    Later after you’ve copied a subject as rendered by a particular artist, it’s good to do the same subject from life. Then you take yet another step in translation.

    Drawing is a place to learn and explore, but you only get to do this exploration if you are willing to walk a path somewhere between excessive self-criticism and no self-criticism at all. The balance between these extremes is where you stand to learn the most.

    Try to make it fun. When things are fun, we do them gladly.

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