Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ask Alicia: Blocks and all



Email from 'Said':

:-)
Hi Alicia,
Thanks for the mail. I would like to know your opinion/suggestion on two more things (Won't take more time of yours .. promise)

1) Do you get something like a writer's block? How do you overcome?
2) As a kid, I had a huge desire to 'live' out of drawing. Now when I see, I feel maybe that was the reason why I stopped .. as I found it difficult to monetise on the skill. Did you have a similar phase/doubts? Or the 'living' part 'just' happened? How do you keep the 'need for money' separate from your art?

Thanks

--
Hellooo
So let me get straight to it!


1) Do you get something like a writer's block? How do you overcome?
I used to before I drew for a living. I remember when I was at university, there were sometimes 4-5 weeks that would pass by where I just didn’t feel like picking up a pencil and then suddenly I couldn’t stop drawing the week after. But I think now I can’t even imagine not drawing daily. I believe it comes from making it habitual. Habit to draw but also sometimes practical when it comes to what to draw. There are days when I can sit infant of a blank paper and stare without a thought and that’s when I refer to notes I make about ‘what I need to draw’. I make these notes at random times when I am in the middle of other activities and don't have access to a pencil. I feel like it’s almost like cooking sometimes. You can sometimes whip up something just by looking at the ingredients but sometimes you need to flip through your recipe book. 

2) As a kid, I had a huge desire to 'live' out of drawing. Now when I see, I feel maybe that was the reason why I stopped .. as I found it difficult to monetise on the skill. Did you have a similar phase/doubts? Or the 'living' part 'just' happened? How do you keep the 'need for money' separate from your art?
That’s a great question! That’s one of the reasons I said I WOULDN'T be an artist as a kid too! And well, life has a funny way of making your wouldn’ts come true :)
I kind of fell into freelancing and that meant I had to come out of my comfort zone and talk about money to clients and put a figure to my work. When it comes to client work, it’s a job and not a piece of art because art is about feelings and messages whereas client work is about fulfilling a brief, even though you have to/want to put in feelings and a message. That’s something I make clear to students as well. Realise that when you illustrate commercially, you’re never given a blank canvas. Having said that, it’s sooo much more fun that it sounds. It’s challenging in a nice way where you work within the constraints but in the most creative way. It's also personally challenging because you have to do things that you don't always prefer, like talking about money (which is a big worry when starting out) but you get used to it over time. Be open in thought and accept challenges. 

But at the end of the day, you should also always draw for you! And that’s when you can call it ‘art’. And that's when you can have a blank canvas and the separation that one may desire. 

Hope this helps!
Love, 
Alicia

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