I don’t like to draw.
Sometimes I like to tell a story with lines and shapes. The lines and shapes don’t have to look good as long as they get the point across. But I don’t enjoy drawing them. And I’ll make any excuse I can think of to not draw, unless I need an image of something.
I’ve tried lots of drawing books and techniques over the years; I’ve done the exercises until my fingers cramped. Nope. I still don’t like it. That “You’ll lose yourself in the act of drawing!” thing isn’t meant for me.
I really don’t like to paint, either, partly because of the necessary preparation – an aggravating mise en place for art – and the high-flying mess afterwards. I do paint on those rare occasions when tactility matters and when an image can’t be made to look the way I want, digitally. There are experiences with paint that can’t [yet] be replicated adequately using a computer, such as furiously slamming goo onto canvas.
So what do I like to do? Where do I “lose myself?”
In creating digital compilations. Digital mashups, digital collages, tradigital art – they’re called several names. For me, putting images of all kinds (photos, scans,* and digital and traditional drawings/paintings) together, layer-on-layer, then blending and editing them on a computer is pure joy. Hours can go by like nanoseconds.
Why? How can just messing around with pixels on a screen be that rewarding? Because the opportunities for exploration and discovery are limitless. I usually have a hint of what I’ll see when I change a blend setting or adjust color or add another layer or invert or any of the other numerous options available, but I don’t know for sure. It’s exciting! And if what I see isn’t something I want to see there’s no harm done – everything’s quickly “undoable.”
I love to see what will happen.
It’s the unknown, the “Ooooo! Lemme try this!” aspect that I adore. That’s what drives me and it’s probably the reason I do any art at all.
Wonder…posit…test…assess…undo…wonder…posit…test…assess…undo…over and over again until: YAY!!! It’s pixel magic!!!
Experimentation: I love it.
*Scans? Whazzit? Using a flatbed scanner I also create digital images of paper, cardboard, drawings, old photos, slides, my face, my hands, flowers, drawings, paintings, etc., then incorporate those images as layers. Pure joy.