Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Confronting Weaknesses: An Artist's Meat and Potatoes

An off-the-cuff quick ink sketch done late at night.
Up until this point I'd never drawn clothed people or furniture.
The challenge was delicious.

One of the most important lessons to learn as an artist is to adapt to mistakes, rather than trying to correct them or, even worse, erase them. I think it's an even more important lesson to learn if you come to traditional media from digital media.

Mistakes happen, but they can open up creative pathways you wouldn't have considered. And being paranoid about mistakes—which are inevitable, even for the masters—seizes up your art process, strongly inhibiting learning and development.

I know, I know, it sounds like bunk, but it turned out to be true for me—I didn't really learn much until I started drawing in ink.

For me, not even having the option to erase freed me from worrying about avoiding mistakes. Mistakes, I learned, were inevitable. No amount of skill could ever free me from them—but there was skill to be had in adapting mistakes into intention.

Yes, I could have given up in frustration and retreated to pencils. And I really did want to give up, but I'm glad my art tutor made me stick to the medium.

(Note: obviously my tutor didn't actually enforce anything. I just listen to them.)

If you don't confront your weaknesses you simply won't get past them. If you can create art with the most unforgiving of mediums, you can create art with any other medium thereafter.

Music credits:

Ava Jarvis is an ink and watercolor artist with a portfolio site at avajarvisart.com. If you found this post useful, consider a one-time tip or supporting Ava on Patreon.