The comments and views expressed here do not reflect those of my employer, my doctor, my bookie, or anyone really, including myself.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

All the voices in my head

So I have these voices in my head. I know I'm not alone; just about every artist I know has 'em. Hell, most people have them, I but I notice them most with the art thing. Sometimes I even listen to them, and much of the time it turns out to be a good thing I did. Some of the voices are former instructors, some are former employers, and some are former co-workers. Some of them are people I've never met. For example, when I'm animating I hear the voices of people like Preston Blair, Richard Williams, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. All these people clamor in my head and tell me where I'm going wrong. (They are always strangely silent about me ever being right.) They're doing their best to help, I know, even when they don't agree with one another. They usually ARE a help, when I can understand them and have the ability to do what they're telling me.

Lately, however, I've found myself not listening as much. Found myself telling them to sit down and shut the hell up, in fact. Ignoring them when they say I'm making things overly complex, that the composition is off balance, that a pose is goofy, stiff, or makes for a bad silhouette. Lately I've been deciding what I want to draw, and to hell with 'em if it's cliche or pastiche or fichu or any one of a dozen other foreign words.

Maybe this means my drawings are getting worse, that my skills are retrograding. I'm certainly not breaking any new ground or anything. Tell you what though: I'm having more fun. I remember a time when I would draw for hours at a time for the sheer hell of it, not as an assignment or as an exercise or practice, but for the joy of scratching a mark onto the surface of something. I kept a lot of my old drawings, and when I look back at them now they're pretty terrible. Derivative 90's comic book stuff  for the most part, cringe-worthy things that the voices in my head snort at and will certainly never be posted here.

Man, did I have a good time drawing them though. And I won't find the fun again listening to the cranky buggers in my skull.