Saturday, July 5, 2014

"Space Bar"

So here's one that rose unbidden from the depths of consciousness, or in this case arguably unconsciousness. Sometimes that's a part of the natural process: there's no rhyme or reason for an concept to flow from the point of a pen, it just happens. This as opposed to any number of catalysts or inspirations, idea-generating exercises, writing prompts - the "work" part of the word "artwork" - occasionally in the middle of the workflow one just simply and inexplicably appears as if by magic. It happens often right before falling asleep, on on a long commute, or in this case when opening up the sketchbook to a blank page when one hasn't had anywhere near enough coffee yet. But it lends credence to the old adage about 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration being the key to any creative undertaking, as random asides will begin to naturally evolve alongside the conscious, deliberate efforts. In other words, shit happens. When you put on a pair of prescription glasses and begin to focus on particular aspects of things, then pretty soon you'll begin to look at everything differently, and start to see material everywhere. This immersion is a challenge to maintain amidst the logistical demands of normal, everyday life, as a job, family etc. will interrupt the flow, constantly throwing up speedbumps, or completely hamstring any rhythm and routine that fosters creativity. Times like those is when its advantageous - or crucial to maintaining sanity if not happiness - to have a disciplined approach, a physical and mental place to return to and keep the ball rolling.

These several samples are also another example of the debatable merits of each comparable stage of a work-in-progress. There's arguments to be made as to the relative qualities of the initial doodle (Sharpie + ballpoint pen) versus the black & white line art (pen + ink on Bristol), versus the digitally colored (both the CMYK and the grayscale print versions) or the original w/ color wash. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, and some people have their strong personal preferences. I'm happy with 'em all, like if the newspaper decides to run the grayscale version instead of the color one (posted side-by-side below). In fact the black + white variation is what I "had in mind," what I "saw" the end result being. But it's always fun to play around, maybe push things a little bit in a new or different direction just to see what happens. Freelance commissions isn't the time or place to pull weird stunts like this, but in the end it will come back around and get added to the virtual toolbox of skills and experience.
When making French toast the other day, it occurred to me that there's an analogy with every slice being different from each other. Some will be bigger or smaller, thicker or thinner, maybe slightly burnt on one or both sides. What's important is that it's a delivery system for maple syrup is that it's all nourishment, it's all good. Art is a meal that not only sustains, it should be shared, so make enough to pass around. Maybe you're meat-and-potatoes person, or will skip straight to the dessert. Okay enough with flogging the dam metaphors, back to the drawing table.

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