Firestarter Friday: The Importance of Sketching

Today’s Firestarter Friday is written by my friend Carly. Her collage work is always inspiring, as is her down-to-earth approach to creating. When you get done reading here, be sure to check out her blog Naked Carly Art.

Happy Friday everyone!

I wish I forced myself to sit and sketch more often than I do.  It isn’t that I don’t have time, embarrassingly; I just tend to get distracted with other things like television, facebook, and the internet in general.  However, I am well aware of the benefits of adding sketching to my regular artistic practices.  I prefer to sketch with pen—not because my work is perfect and flawless the moment my drawings touch the page.  In truth, my reason for drawing initial sketches in ink is the exact opposite.  If I allow myself to work in pencil—if I allow myself the opportunity to erase, that is exactly what I will do—over, and over, and over ineffectively searching for some form of perfection.  When I sketch with ink, I am able to keep in mind that I am just sketching. It allows me to play with various visual concepts and combinations of imagery.

(However, others may prefer pencil—and they are more than entitled their preferences.  Art is a beautiful creative process and people should use whatever materials and tools they prefer.  I am simply explaining what/why ink is ideal for me.) 

Sketching is about the process, enjoying the creativity flowing through me in its raw form, allowing myself to focus on the moment, being in the present—it isn’t about the finished imagery.  Of course, sketches can (and do) provide a fantastic reference for other future, more thoughtfully developed, artworks.  That shouldn’t be reason behind their creation.  If I am solely sketching with the intention of later developing the drawings into a final piece, my mind goes blank.  I feel overwhelmed, anxious and inept.

Sitting on my comfortable green sofa with a dog curled up next to me on either side, listening to music, my mind is allowed to wander.  My thoughts become absorbed in the music, I begin creating lines and imagery inspired by the lyrics, memories associated with the song, or simply images that come to mind. Sketching helps to improve my drawing ability and I feel calm, content, and arty.

I have touched on music as an inspiration and influence in my work in a couple earlier posts. Before I kept my own blog, I hadn’t bothered to analyze where/what/who inspires my work.  Forcing myself to write about my artistic imagery has been a blessing.  I feel more connected with my art, which in turn inspires me more, which provides more for me to write about.  It has been a delightful cycle. 

Week Three: Artist Date- http://nakedcarlyart.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/week-three-artist-date/
Artistic Themes III: Lyrical Influence- http://nakedcarlyart.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/lyrical-influence-2/

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