So the thought occurred to me yesterday. I was doing my quick sketch and portrait drawing yesterday and I realized my brain was turning to mush. It's not that it wasn't helpful; both classes are, but I just realized that I wasn't having fun anymore. It really dawned on me right before I went to bed when I told myself consciously to just have fun drawing. I felt like I wasn't even able to do that, because I just started looking at my proportions and line work and other technical things.
How do you keep this whole art making thing from becoming a chore, and remember to have fun, especially as a professional artist? —Missing The Fun.
It's a good question. We can get so wrapped up in the technical stuff that we lose sight of the fun of art, the things that got us hooked on drawing in the first place.
What I used to do to get away from the occasional dulling effect of art study was to go sketching at the zoo or to bring my sketchbook to the boxing match or the bus station. One thing that makes art fun is using it to connect you with unusual experiences and encounters.
For example, the day before yesterday I was sketching an old truck chassis in a rough neighborhood and three girls came up and one of them said, “You should be an artist!” Another said, “I can’t draw, but I can sing!” And then a mechanic came out and told me the history of the truck. I had a blast, because I had never drawn a chassis before.
If you can use some of those quick sketch and portrait skills to draw an interesting character that you meet, your brain will come instantly into focus.
I think it also helps if you can always be working on personal paintings driven by your deepest emotions, whatever those emotions are. For those pictures, put your attention on the feeling you want the painting to convey. You don’t have to show them to anybody. Listen to your favorite music as you work on them, and let intuition take over. Rationalism and analysis can help you develop your craft, but you have to stoke the fire of your inner artist too.