Love the process


Mid semester, I entered a stagnant point with my artwork- drawing in particular. I had been doing really well at the beginning, embracing new ideas, going at it with new materials, and so on. But during the middle of this semester I hit a sort of glass ceiling, and I wasn’t able to get beyond what I had been doing previously.

This was most notable in drawing class. We were doing a mix of in class model work, and out of class portraiture. It was tough stuff, but I knew I was capable of making good drawings. But I guess something seemed to be lacking, and I just couldn’t put my finger on what.

All of us talked to our teacher individually one day during class, and I explained that I felt somewhat stuck in terms of my progress. My teacher and I couldn’t really figure it out, because we both knew that I have all the skills down that are needed to make really great drawings. She told me, “You just need to love the process.” And I realized that I wasn’t. Actually, I lately didn’t even really like the process. I was drawing to get an end result, to meet a due date, to get a good grade. But that’s not how it’s supposed to go. I found out that you can’t work for a “finished” drawing, because in doing that, it’s easy to get lost in the details without stepping back for a time to look at the big picture. I’ve been trying of get out of my head the word “complete” as I currently know it because I’ve come to find out that in the best drawings, all of the parts are actually incomplete, and are relying on each other for an overall completeness.

I’ve been working on 2 big drawings to be turned in at the final. And every time I go in to draw, I make sure to step back, to re-measure, to wipe things out if they need to be, to go in and make a mess, to slowly refine, and to love the process- and I think I’m finally starting to again.