Most say I am obsessed with anime (Japanese animation) because I watch lots of it, own some classics; draw it, have books about it, etc. Then, wouldn’t that make me a person who is obsessed with art as well? And if so, I am obsess with what I do for my life. I say for my life, because without art I have nothing. I am obsessed with my life.
I don’t know, perhaps I am just reading too much into this whole obsession thing… and right now I will let it go… there, lets talk about more interesting things, like… art.
I have finally finished my sketchbook; I feel I have done wonderful with it. There are tons of quotes, notes, and inspirational messages in it, to help me create. Many of the things I have created recently have been possible because of this sketchbook, and the wonderful Bert Dodson and his book Keys To Drawing with Imagination, which helped me initiate my sketchbook.
In one of my post, last year, “The Self Defining Book” I explained how having a sketchbook is supposed to help the artist create a discipline in his skills, while it becomes a book full of resourceful ideas that could be used later for a bigger project. The sketchbook is to practice, to let go of your fears and frustrations, and simply draw. No matter how ugly or primitive it might look, it is just a sketch, an idea… a gem in the rough. I was expected to finish my sketchbook last year, instead it took me a longer time, but I got there and I’m proud of it.
Bert Dodson is a truly amazing artist. Before reading his book I thought I needed to be inspired to create. In my fake notion, I would wait for my “muse” to come, and so I thought I was a true artist. Yes! We all suffer blocks at a certain time in our artistic life; we might not feel the need to create or express ourselves in any way for years, its sad, and it can happen to the best of us. However, I have learned now, I was completely wrong.
Creation will be my inspiration to bigger things. This is the creative process: “Take something and do something to it, and then do something else to it. Keep doing this and you’ve got something” Jasper Johns.
Because inspiration will come from anything, it does not mean I must wait for it, but that I must find it: “Inspiration is often found in the untried and the unfamiliar and sometimes in the uncomfortable” Bert Dodson.
Dodson says in his book, that to be an artist one must become a stranger. These words have carved deep within me, because I often feel I am a stranger, even to myself. I’m sure we have all felt that way one time or another. We might do things we didn’t think ourselves capable of doing. Even as we grow, we are constantly learning new traits about our character, this in part, might make us feel like a stranger. However, when an artist is in his most important moment (the moment of creation) an artist becomes none existent to the world, even to himself. It is in that moment, when I believe we turn into strangers to those around us, and what I chose to interpret from Dodson’s words.
If I were to truly analyzed his words, I might find he wants me to become a loner, so that I let go of all the pressure and prejudice society puts on me, so that I can create something genuine without feeling I must hold myself back from certain things. Funny, because the word stranger carries so much mystery with it, and Dodson is asking me to lose my inhibitions. Now, do I carry that sentiment with me at all times? Do I become an outsider in my own dwelling? That sounds scary; yet, I think there lies the problem. To become a stranger, one must let go of the fear of getting to know oneself. How deep will the mind go? … Oh!
Of course, you do realize I know I’m not obsessed with art nor am I obsessed with my life. I was just being typical nonsensical me… and it gets worse, but, let us take it a step at a time.