A good majority of the people that I would consider close to me, be it an aunt, relative or friend, has shown interest in some form of illustration. Be it sketching or doodling, I always found the art very natural, so when I say that I was a fairly good sketch artist believe me. I was good. Now this may seem a bit egotistical, but in High school I was the best when it came to portraiture[which if you come to think about it, isn’t really saying much]. The closest thing I had to a rival was a friend and fellow artist that focused primarily on animation. He stayed clear of portraiture because he knew that I would step my game up if I saw that he was doing better than I was. What I find very interesting about my short lived career as an artist is that, as I slowly began to realize that nobody was out doing me, it became painfully obvious why that was. The first reason was that as there was no clear rival, there was no need to better the art of sketch. The once puzzling task of bringing life to a plain sheet of paper quickly became repetitive and lacked the essential spontaneity. The second reason was, nobody was even trying to best me because nobody cared. When there is no praise, or even worse, when there is no criticism, there is absolutely no room for improvement.
Now the reason that I bring this up is because my memories were jogged up when author Hunt mentioned Grandmother’s radishes. The last serious drawing I partook in was a few years ago, and I was defeated by my own creation. The lines wouldn’t line up, the shade looked shady, and the balance was, well you get the idea. Approaching the final stages of production, I would find myself ripping up seven hours of work every single time. I must have redrawn the same thing about eight times before I started to realize that I burned out.
I think the point that Hunt makes about momentum is absolutely true. While a good author will write as ideas come to mind, a great author does the exact opposite. The true can be said about the art of portraiture. Erasers are made for a reason, instead of ripping apart work that is decent, one can always go back to make it greater. While I could have worked on the initial piece of paper and made that drawing sing, I opted to make eight really bad copies of the same failed attempt. It’s been years since I’ve last drawn, if asked today, I wouldn’t be able to draw a stick figure. Never stop writing.