Friday, June 22, 2007

When I was learning to draw...

A couple of summers ago, when my Mac was new, I wasn't taking any computer classes, just a drawing class. And I would go home & play on the computer, figuring out how to draw with it. I was just using Appleworks, because that's what I had, and I hadn't taken any vector drawing classes yet, and I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing. I was just playing, figuring it out as I went along.

I would make a gradient of colors I'd created, or pulled off a photograph, and fill the background frame with it. The colors set the scene for me, and suggested what I'd be drawing, undersea or desert. And I would just start drawing, and see what happened. I know I was doing it all 'wrong', because I described the process as "collaborating with a wildly squirming line", and it's not supposed to be that way. When the line squirmed into a pleasing shape, I would capture it & pin it down.

I can't redo that process; I don't know what I really did. But the result is very spontaneous in feeling. Well, I had to move fast to grab that line…

The look is very free and imaginative. And very unlike my pen & pencil style, which is biological illustration, pen & ink with fine stippled textures. Very planned & detailed & carefully observed.

Now all of the graphic design teachers went to art school in the old days, and learned their art the old way. And they all agree that it's not possible to be creative on the computer. One has to start with a pencil and paper, and come up with ideas, and work out the best one, then go to the computer only for the final polished version. I read an interview between 2 graphic designers, and one asked the other if he thought there was anyone capable of being creative directly on the computer. And the answer was,"Yes, but they're all under 12 years old".

The more I've learned about how it's supposed to be done, about how to draw a line where I want it to be, the stiffer my drawings become.

But I think, if we come to the computer like a child, without years of bad habits and frustrations, and if it's a Mac, so the graphics are easy and intuitive to use, and most of all, if we just play, that all creativity originates there, in play. Have fun.

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At 6/26/2007 5:59 PM, Anonymous Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

At 11/10/2008 3:46 PM, Anonymous Ashlyn said...

People should read this.


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