I started a daily drawing routine about two years ago, and am pleased to say it is still going.
I usually scribble something quickly into my sketchbook¹ using a biro, photograph it with my iPad and compose/ink it in the excellent Procreate app. From here I post it to Instagram. You can find a dump of my most recent images on this page.
The weirdness of audiences
When I had just finished my A levels² I took a trip to Paris to stay with my Uncle and do a bit of painting and drawing. It was a kind of lead-up to doing my Foundation Art Diploma and I was raring to be an artist! I took some acrylic painting materials, borrowed a portable easel from my girlfriend and prepared some canvases. I was all set. When I got to a monument (somewhere or other) I set up my stuff and began to make some Art™.
And then it all crashed - I felt utterly paralysed by
a. tourists who kept taking their photo next to me
b. people looking at what I was doing and
c. the inner knowledge that I wasn’t actually that good. Other artists around me were way more impressive. I was a fraud.
It was such a weird experience. I came away not wanting to do it again. Bizarrely, this event illustrates what happens whenever we post material online - purely because there is an audience watching.
As I post these daily pictures I try to keep in mind that Discipline and Play are important to creativity³:
- Discipline means doing it every day (or at east regularly enough for it to be a deliberate habit)
- Play means that I just make things which are literally that: not done with any audience or crowd in mind
So why bother posting them online?
Good question. If you post stuff where there's an audience, aren't you just trying to market yourself? Isn't it somehow a bit cheap, broadcasting yourself in this way? Maybe I shouldn’t⁴.
But then maybe there is value in simply sharing things just because.
¹I usually draw stuff related to what I have been thinking about in the last few days
²in 1863, just before the Post-impressionists took hold
³you are probably different to me, I am just saying how I do things
⁴I know I'm probably over thinking this