About an hour ago I recieved a text from a friend of mine who said that I inspired her to attept an abstract drawing. I was flattered to say the least.. did I, just another average Joe, really inspire someone with my sketches? She then sent me the picture (thank goodness for MMS texts!) looking for some feedback as I do to my friends. Her sketch is the first picture posted above, which reminded me of some of my earliest skecthes. The second picture is a sketch I did in her notebook a while back, it's definately not one of my best sketches but I learned alot since then.
Now I am the first one to tell you abstraction CAN NOT be taught. It comes from within the artist and, as I believe, the artist's "mind's eye". The artist at times (speaking of my own experience) can't explain or visualize the finished product before it is finished and when it is done can not explain, in words, how this idea came about. It kind of just happens; pulled out from the deepest, darkest depths of the subconscious mind.. This, as many know and others can assume, is the very reason why abstraction can not be taught and, further more, is almost impossible to explain how abstraction comes about. But for Kiana's sake I tried my best to offer up advice knowing that what she wished to do could not be taught to her. This is the text I sent back:
"Don't try so hard. Use your own creativity and just let the pen do the work. There's a lot of open space there, which can be ok, but personally [I believe], filling out empty space with sparatic etching creates more [for the viewer] to look at and follow. Thicker scribble like lines add depth to your drawing. Keep your pen moving and just let your mind leak out of your pen. There's no ink in your pen, only your mind's creativity."
These principles I aquired after the sketch I did in Kiana's notebook as you can see above...
She was very appreciative of my advice but ended her response text with "I just suck". This sounded all too familiar! I saw a younger me in her... I offered up one more piece of advice to her:
"Negative attitude gets you nowhere.. It took me years to figure that out,it's only recently I learned to let go of negativity and began becoming happier with my work.. Don't criticize yourself, though it's very difficult, just do it [do what you do]... Once you let go of expectations and allow your mind to wander deep into itself, then you become an artist"
As this little conversation with Kiana came to an end I still rolled ideas over in my head on my ride home from school. And I have one more piece of advice I'd like to share with her and you. Recall the old sying, "Think outside the box." Personally I believe this satement is bullshit and will get you absolutely nowhere. So I offer up my own version of what this old saying seemingly came up short of:
"Think inside the box, but do just that; think! Think with your own mind, not with someone else's. And don't allow anyone to think for you! Once you do that your thoughts will be original and unique because they came from YOU! And once you do achieve this, expand the box so that what was once outside the box, is now inside the box."
Though I don't feel I said enough to really help her and I fear to say too much I hope this helped her out as will it help you in whatever you do. These are principles essential to everything in life, not just abstract art. Do yourself a favor and think for yourself, question everything, and learn! Venture into the deepest depths of your own mind, as freightening as it may be, and pull out everything that's within you because it's unique to you and only you.
Thanks for reading, Much Love,