I’ve been so busy the last few weeks. I’ve been promoting my new book Dragon Red – http://amzn.to/2m3YJc4 – up and down the country in schools and libraries. That is an exhausting thing to do! While I’m away from home I’m not making videos. I think I will do blogs, but I’m so tired at the end of the day and there are such restrictions about videoing in schools that I don’t bother trying anymore.
Now I’;m back at home, I’m lucky to have a lot of work on. I’ll be sharing some of the techniques I use in my current work with you soon.
Meantime, you keep drawing and I’ll be back with a new drawing video very soon. It’s Mother’s day here in the UK next week, so I’d better draw some flowers for my Mum and make a video of it too – what kind would you like me to draw – spring flowers are best.
1 Art doesn’t need to have a message! It can just be about making things beautiful through decoration.
It can be for recording or explaining stuff
It can be design to help sell stuff or make it more useful and pleasing
It can just be a nice time on your own, doing your own thing, not worrying about having a voice or having to send a message to the world. The Wold has quite enough conflicting messages already!
2 it’s not that you don’t have a voice it’s just that you might not have much to say at the moment. That doesn’t mean you won’t have anything to say in the future. Maybe you’re just trying too hard I need to get a little distance.
There is so much art out there and there are so many brilliant artists it can make you feel a little insignificant. But each artist has their role to play in the grand scheme of things. You may not be destined to greatness. But you might influence someone who is. You won’t know unless you do the work.
3 If you’re really stuck and uninspired and don’t know what to do then I would suggest you pack up your pens and pencils and paper everything put it in a drawer hide it away and do something completely different. Fill up your time. Get a job doing anything. Be a Coffee barrista or go and clean offices or something to get completely away from it all. Do something very, very different. After a while you will realise that you haven’t thought of art for a while and don’t mind if you never do it again – or ideas will come pouring in and you will be desperate to dig out all those art materials and get to work again having found a new message, new meaning, and, probably, a new voice.
4 Voice is a strange thing I know as a writer he took me years to find my voice and every time I thought that I’d written something really original I would stand up in school and read it out and I could hear all the authors that influence me speaking through me. Until one day a brilliant editor made me go and rewrite a story. She said she thought that I could do better if I took out all the description and put it into dialogue and by doing that I discovered my voice. Actually, she discovered my voice – but it took a long time and it took a lot of practice and trial and error and learning to get top that point where I could do what she asked of me.
To find your voice you just have to keep doing the work and eventually it will come. You will spend a lot of time copying others and doing not very original work but that’s how it goes. Eventually all those influences will come together with your original ideas to create something unique that is all yours. It doesn’t happen overnight. If it did everyone would be an amazing, truly original artist.
However easy it might appear for other artists, trust me they have put the years and years of practice and experience into their work before they ever began to get noticed.
This is nothing to be upset by – it’s just something you get on with. In the meantime you need to reach out and experience stuff – meet new people – go to museums – read books – watch TV – fill your head with lots and lots of experiencs – keep drawing and making notes – trying new things, and eventually you will find themes recurring that will become the basis of your voice through which, you will discover what your message truly is.