My musings. Possibly, background information about my life and some over sharing.

Drawing Instruction VI: Attachment Exercise

| 29 September, 2013 18:48

This is an important topic and a little less about drawing than about being an artist in general. It has some implications with regards to psychological phenomenon as well. Please read through and then there will be an exercise at the end. 


There are a number of different ways a human being can manifest attachment. Typically, this psychological theory, which was first exposed or publicly theorized was done so by John Bowlby, is discerned through human relationships. I want to use this psychological phenomenon to expose/expound upon a part of the creative process. 


There are two basic types of attachment: 1. Secure attachment; and 2. Insecure aatachment. Insecure attachment has a bunch of different subcategories of types of insecure attachments. It seems, though, that secure attachment simply is just that; and there doesn't seem to be subcategories of secure attachment types. 


Let's say, for now, that there are subcategories or different types of secure attachment an artist has with his/her work. We will say, for the sake of argument, that there are no insecure attachments in art making. I think to say that you have an insecure attachment to your work would mean that you are not making art. And we know you are here making art, right?


First, I will say that you have a secure attachment to your work; meaning you esteem your work--you hold it in high regard. You put time into making it just right. You don't want to see anything bad happen to it. You want other people to like it. You want other people to see it and like it as well.


Then you have your process. You have your way that you set up, draw, do your thing and then show it off. You also have your particular level of obssession with your work. 


Let's break it down: 


Secure attachment includes:


1. esteem- a feeling of high regard for your work


2. time spent on your work


3. protectiveness of your work


4. desire to show others your work


5. an art making process


6. a level of obssessiveness 


We will take each one in turn:


1. esteem- a feeling of high regard for your work


Take some time today to look back at some of your things and realize how much you like certain things you have made. Spend some time deciding that you made the marks you did for a reason. You made those marks because that is what you saw in your mind's eye.


It's easy to get wrapped up thinking that your work is either GOOD or BAD compared to someone else or against the image you are attempting to produce. For the purpose of this exercise put this out of your mind. Put it out of your mind in a way where you know there is always room for improvement and that is what you plan to do--improve. But put out any comparison now. Look at your drawing for exactly what it is. There is no way to undo it unless you do it again--better. 


Enjoy it for exactly and only what it is. Revisit some of your feelings you had during that drawing and realize which of your feelings were productive and which of your feelings were not. Try to remember which lines you were drawing when you felt productive opposed to unproductive.


Remember these thoughts and keep paging through your work. Spend time on the ones you don't usually look at often or the ones you don't really show to people. 


2. time spent on your work


By now you should have already implemented drawing into a part of your daily or weekly routine. Better daily than weekly. But, weekly, used here, is used loosely; being that 4-5 times per week is your weekly routine. 


Make sure you are spending time drawing. If you are not spending time drawing you aren't going to improve. 


3. protectiveness of your work


This is where you must be careful. You need criticism. Seek it out. Ask people to, please, tell you what they really think. Ask people whom you care about; the people whose opinions matter to you. 


Take what they say and do not make argument. Realize that there are things that you could improve.


4. desire to show others your work


See number 3. Also, plan to frame some of your works, if not the ones you have in your sketch pad now--but in the future plan to have a BIG ASS show of your amazing work. This also lends into number 1 (above) having a high regard for your work.


5. an art making process


Here is where you need to strech yourself for the purposes of this exercise. If there is a habit that you have or if there are many, decide today that you are going to take that habit and throw it out of the window.

You have paged through your work and maybe you have decided to work on a particular one that you have neglected. Take a pen or some other mark making instrument and draw and unexpected or emotional line through it. Put in a shadow but do it uncontrolled with feeling.


If there is a piece that you are struggling with that you would love to throw away---take it now and do this very thing to it. WAIT! Don't use hate emotion. Don't get a piece of work and play with hate. Play instead with ART. Bring happiness into that bitch. Show that drawing where it was supposed to go with your lines; politely.


Next, take a drawing you love and remember those HATE feelings. Imagine destroying that piece of work. In actuality, I came here today to tell you to take a piece of your work that you believe is amazing and DESTROY IT! 


Expel all your art angst onto that thing. Realize that no matter what; you can do it again if you tried. Throw it in the trash! Burn it! Destroy it...make sure you take a picture of it first---or don't take a picture if you want to feel the true void. I recommend true void avenue but I am an artist with either a severe secure attachment or an artist with no conscience.....


Realize how upsetting it would feel to not have that drawing any more. 


6. a level of obssessiveness 


We all know that art making requires a slightly obssessive personality trait. For this stage of the exercise I want you to think of your drawing as if it is the new guy/gal in your life that makes your heart flutter; the one you think of constantly. Your art should be something that you want to look at all the time.