Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back To Basics

Back To Basics

Somewhere along the way I lost my draw, sketch & doodle gene. Not so many years ago no piece of paper was safe if it was within reach & I had a pen or pencil in my hand. I'm not particularly talented in the drawing or sketching department, although I could generally get onto paper a half decent representation of what I was trying to portray,  but I could always doodle up a storm as any old bill, phone book or piece of scrap paper used to be able to attest to.

As I was struggling to think of a design for a project today I wondered what had happened to the impromptu, unplanned art form of doodling & why it had all but disappeared from my life. Tonight, as I sat down to do something on the computer, the penny dropped. Technology is partially to blame.

Eleven years ago when I first got a computer I still did most things manually. Somewhere along the way it was suggested that we were heading towards a paperless society - my brain must have absorbed that idea, taken it & run with it.
Instead of hand drafting patterns I'd do it on my computer & then take them to be enlarged at a copy shop. When it came to patchwork or Cross Stitch I had design programs for those. Rather than draw a rough plan to map out an idea on paper, I'd open Smart Draw & do it tidily, precisely & to scale. Now I pay my bills, that arrive via email, online & if I want to find out where to get something locally I look online rather than use the phone & ring around. I used to doodle all the time when I was 'on hold' during phone calls.

Worst of all if I had a rough design in mind for something I wanted to do, be it knitting, needlework or a painting for the kids room, I'd search online to get inspiration rather than slog it out in a sketch book trying to get the idea in my head to look right on paper. 

You can see where this is going - in short my imagination has gone into hibernation. I realised today when I had to search through an old notebook, because I knew there was a doodle in there somewhere that would at least give me a starting place for something I could do on the small blank canvas I had before me, that I don't think in pictures any more.

My brain doesn't have to think in pictures because everything is out there at the touch of a button....or at least the typing of a few specific keywords into a search engine & you have instant visual overload.

A classic case of  "use it or lose it". I dont believe that I have completely lost it, but I suspect that I am going to have to retrain myself somewhat - & take a step back from my friendship with google ;)

It's time to play again - with pencil, pen, paper & my imagination. Time to back off from ease of access & get back to basics.

4 comments:

GAFFER GIRLS said...

thanks Deb ...

sharing ... great article ..
with school starting .. color pens & pencils art good time 2 stock up ..
WE LOVE OUR CRAYOLA'S ..
mo & the girls

Right Turn ArtWerks said...

Deb, Here is what I do with the google "finds". I print some of them out, cut out whay tripped my trigger, and keep a glue stick handy.

I glue them into the sketch book and then elaborate on whatever it was that drew me to it in the first place. I also glue in doodles on receipts or whatever I've scribbled on. Throw a small tablet in your purse - if it's handy when you're out and about you'll jot down quick passing thoughts....glue them in to book when you get home.

I've got to tell you I have like ten sketchbooks going back years. When ever I'm strapped I start getting them out. It doesn't take to long before I'm thinking, "Gheeze, this old idea isn't half bad."

Kym Hunter Designs said...

These beads are gorgeous!

Patty said...

You are so right Deb! We're becoming numb with all of this instant media, yanking our attention here and there, not allowing our brains to really dive deep into something. Love your beads, and love the thought of you sketching again!

xo,
Patty