Friday, June 12, 2009
Learn From Jack
I am sure everyone remembers the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas, and how one's desire to push past complacency can open to many results. We saw Jack Skellington wanting to do something different, yearning to get out of the norm of his usual antics. In his discovery of Christmastown, he was intrigued to not only gain understanding of the atmosphere and its' spirit, but to also put his best efforts in doing the festivities. In his attempts, he failed; however, he still felt energized to try something new. After all his participation in learning Christmas, he was able to see more potential in his strengths of making mischief.
With this all said, I believe there's a lesson we can learn from Jack as artists: Putting our best efforts into an unknown skill/ability/medium will impact our strengths. Whether you are strong in drawing, or strong in photography, if you find the connection between your strength and weakness, your strength will benefit more from your experimentation.
For instance, I took up watercolor painting last year, and I was completely horrible at it. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get the medium down, or get a good understanding of it. However, if I had saw the benefits of the process, I would have found that it was helping me get better at drawing. Learning to use the strokes of a brush impacted my strokes of a pencil. How lightly I use the charcoal/lead pencil as I press against the paper. Allowing my arm to be loose and free, like painting with watercolor. Another good example was doing 3D: I thought it was a waste of time. I was proven wrong after I got into Life Drawing. If I had understood the necessities of 3D shapes, and how they relate, my drawings would have shown more volume and weight.
Now, I can see that not every weakness will become a strength. I do believe that through extra sacrifice and hard work the possibilities for that to happen are high. And I also believe that the weakness of a medium you put your best efforts to will push your strengths even further. So if you are not strong in drawing but you are strong in photography, push your drawing skills some more. Or if you are really good in sculpture, but you are not well in ink, see how using inks will help you explore sculpture. The key is having an exciting attitude to explore...just like Jack Skellington.