Friday, June 10, 2011

Loving A.R.T: Abolishing Restrictive Thinking

Through middle school and high school it seemed as though most of my Friday nights were spent happily shut inside of my bedroom drawing to my heart's content. Sometimes I was alone, sometimes one or both of my sisters would join me with whatever respective activity they were doing. Those hours upon hours of drawing portraits of my celebrity dream boys or favorite movie fan art were some of my fondest past times. Back then, it was all about creating. Making something that I didn't have. If I saw a photograph I liked, I drew it, no questions asked.

And even as a full grown adult in my mid twenties, nothing makes me happier than to merely render art from photographic sources. I may be an illustrator now, but my self-taught background is in drawing from concrete sources rather than from my imagination. Tragically, somewhere along the way of becoming an illustrator I lost the ability to make art just for myself. For my own pleasure. For the mere sake of making something I wanted to look at. I used to ask "What do I want to hang on my wall today?" and then I'd draw it. But now I am plagued by questions like "What SHOULD I draw?" "What is worth drawing?" and before I know it everything that isn't some kind of imaginative illustration for my portfolio feels like it would be a waste of time to create. The not knowing WHAT to make often results in not making anything.

But why should I confine myself to art that fits certain criteria? ANYTHING can be art! Making something is better than making NOTHING. 

If nothing else, drawing is great practice and can only help me as an artist.

So in the midst of all the self-inflicted pressure to create something worth creating, I decided to say SCREW IT and go back to my roots and make a self-indulgent piece for the heck of it.

I've wanted to make a Harry Potter movie poster for Deathly Hallows because I was disappointed by the posters I've seen so far. So I started collecting the few images I could from the film and composed my own poster, compositionaly inspired by the iconic Sorcerer's Stone poster created by Drew Struzan.

What I realized once I got going was just how HAPPY it made me to make fan art. Because I love Harry Potter, I love drawing, I love movie posters, I love Drew Struzan, and I love the freedom and autonomy that being able to DRAW grants me. If something I want does not exist, I can MAKE it MYSELF!

And there's even more to the silver lining: I know that even though I am creating this to satisfy my own desires, it WILL inevitably be enjoyed by other Harry Potter fans, which makes me feel really good. All I had to do was allow myself to do it.

Sooooo anyway. Here's the pencil version. I'm in the middle of digitally painting the final colored version, which will take a couple more days. I. AM. ESSITED.

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