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As a creative person (though I say so myself), one of the biggest issues I face from time to time is the big dilemma: focus on creativity or technique? Or possibly both?
To explain the dilemma, I need to explain what I consider technique. Technique to me is a method which one develops - a process that yields consistent results and a particular style of art. Creativity is the point at which you are comfortable enough with your technique to experiment and explore your style and possibly try things you've not done before.
I'd like to call myself creative and I think I am to a certain extent. There is a problem though: I'm bored with technique and I'm bored with having to practice and practice until I get the technique right. I do want my drawing to get better and stylistically distinct, yet I don't want to get stuck in a formulaic approach. The thought that my current technique might be fundamentally unsound is draining my creativity as is the thought of getting back to square one (unlearning my mistakes and re-learning the right way).
Now I am aware that the best advise has always been to practice and practice correct techniques to the point where you can draw in your sleep. Get the proportions, perspectives, the lines and the shapes right first and then go on to experiment and innovate. If you want to draw a human, first get the realistic proportions of the human body right and only after you do it well, attempt to "stylize" it. This approach should, with enough practice, guarantee that your basic artistic skills are so strong and your foundation is never shaky. You can never make basic errors in proportion, perspective and shapes.
No doubt the advise is sound and extremely useful, but my problem is that I cannot get inspired enough to practice the basics over and over again so much. It becomes tiring and repetitive. I begin to doubt whether I can draw at all. I do have a few artist books and I have practiced the basics in the past. Unfortunately the whole practice routine hasn't helped my creativity at all. I continue drawing in the same way with slight improvements.
I want to remain creative, but I also want a fundamental change in my approach. Obviously I understand that it takes effort and a lot of time to get there, but I keep wondering what my actual goals are: to be a good artist first and then a comic writer, or to simple enjoy the process of creating comics, get better at what I do while staying within or working around my limitations with shortcuts. I do want a good technique, but not at the cost of creativity or lack of inspiration.
Simply put, I'm wondering whether I should continue drawing the way I am currently or dump it and attend a traditional art course during the summer. I realize that this is a hobby and the purpose is to enjoy what I do otherwise it becomes a chore. Therein lies my dilemma.
Posted on Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 15:36 IST (last updated: Thu, Apr 15, 2010 @ 15:36 IST)