This week’s epiphany:
Limiting myself is rather relieving…
I know this sounds pretty unintuitive, but let me explain:
I usually work with a bunch of materials and mix them all up.
At the same time, I usually have issues to get started, because, you know, there are so many things I want to do!
But when I moved into my new studio space four weeks ago, I didn’t take all of my stuff with me – only my most favorite materials like pens, watercolors, and stamps, plus a bunch of unfinished drawings and some paper. Due to several reasons I work on a commissioned artwork at home at the same time and need another bunch of materials there, like my acrylics and most of my brushes, inks, markers and a whole lot of other stuff I usually like to work with.
I was forced to split those masses of art supplies over the last weeks.
Which was great since something interesting happened: The fewer materials I had available, the easier I choose which one to pick and how to do the next step on paper. Ideas flowed onto the paper, and completely new and not so new things emerged while I had to work with those few things around me at the studio. A completely new, relieving experience!
Well, not really new because I know this phenomena from other situations well, but it didn’t occur to me that it was also true for my artistic work. The thing is, if I am forced to use only one tool at a time (can’t afford another one, don’t have access too…), I better come up with as many ideas how to use it as possible. I give you an example:
20 Things you can do with a pencil:
- draw light lines
- draw heavy lines
- draw bold shapes
- make a frottage (use a pencil on a sheet of paper that lies on a rough surface)
- draw naturally
- draw abstract stuff
- erase (create white space)
- chew on its end
- lubricate a lock (seriously!)
- create a pinned-up hairstyle (Asian style)
- measure proportions of something you draw
- stick it behind your ear while you need your hands free
- piercing paper for whatever reason
- add a piece of thread and use it like a pair of compasses
- wrap strings of paper to create a basic coil shape for quilling
- cut tiny sculptures from it
- throw it away and take another drawing tool […]
There are probably more but you get the idea.
I found it really helpful to limit myself to only one tool or one technique now when I have issues to get started in the studio. Does this make sense to you? I hope so!
Limit yourself and have a good start today!