Cave painting-Hands

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I ran across a sad post on tumblr today bemoaning how much harder it is to be a fanfic writer than a fanartist, because fanfic writers get so much less feedback and respect - everyone reblogs fanart, hardly anyone reblogs fic ...

/cries because I am OLD

Speaking of being old, it's absolutely fascinating to me to be drawing enough lately to become aware how much my drawing skills have atrophied over the last few years. It's not that I can't draw at all, it's just that it's a lot harder than it ought to be. There's a much bigger gulf between what I see in my head and what comes out of the pencil. Anatomy is hard in particular; the graceful drawings in my head, with their sense of chunkiness and mass, come out stilted, awkward and flat. I think that the drawing I did the other day of the Avengers characters + sunbeam is the closest that I've come in ages to getting my head-picture to match up with what my hands were capable of, and even there, the perspective is off ...

But I guess it makes sense when I think about how much I used to draw. From my teenage years up to late 20s, I was always drawing. I filled up sketchbooks while I was in college; I drew on scraps of paper, post-it notes at work, the edges of envelopes. I copied other people's art, drew my own characters, did fanart, basically just drew and drew and drew.

I don't remember when that obsessive level of drawing stopped, or why. I think it had something to do with moving back to Alaska in 2004 and not really being around other (comic) artists much -- not in the way I had been, where I was going to conventions regularly and sketching with other people on a semi-regular basis. I think that was also about the time I started writing A LOT, and while I've always done both, it seems that activating my prose-brain to that extent went partway toward shutting off my drawing-brain.

.... anyway, it's been probably 7 or 8 years since I've drawn a lot, and probably 4 or 5 years since I've drawn more than every once in a while. For a long time, I really didn't WANT to draw. Being back into comics seems to have gotten me drawing on a more regular basis, and I'm trying to keep a sketchbook -- I've never really done sketchbooks since college (and mostly then, it was only because I had to for a lot of my art classes, so I got in the habit and/or ended up with class sketchbooks that were half full, so I needed to fill them). I am DROWNING in sketchbooks because of people either giving them to me, or buying them and putting 3 drawings in them and then not filling it. (Is this something that other people do? Do most artists have dozens of blank or partly-used sketchbooks hanging around on their shelves?)

I want to try to start drawing every day again, even if it's only something small. It feels like reconnecting with a part of myself that I've been out of touch with for a while. I'd almost forgotten what it felt like to really enjoy making art for its own sake, not just as a means to an end.

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Well, I think it's not just LJ vs. DW, it's the fact that a large chunk of Tumblr fandom seem to think of Tumblr as ALL OF FANDOM, and its fannish norms as the ones that fandom lives by. Which is, admittedly, not limited to Tumblr; LJ fandom does the same thing in slightly different ways (which is frustrating to me, sometimes, because I came into fandom by way of anime fandom, which is different yet again!).

But yeah, I know what you mean about not really wanting to do that with fanfics. It feels more invasive, somehow ... or something. I'm not as comfortable with it.