Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thoughts on Drawing - Mike Koh

I really love drawing but it’s also the most frustrating thing ever.

What I love about it is how it teaches you to see things differently, zenning out, the drawing process, and exploring different media.

What I get frustrated about it really doesn’t have to do with drawing, but it’s that I love analyzing it and I can get carried away; and, due to practical reasons, I can never get my work to look as good as I want it to be.

This was my first real semester of taking art seriously, and I’ve really enjoyed using the right side of my brain. I’m really into architecture and design, so most of my time drawing has been spent doing stuff besides the assignments, but i’m amazed at how much there is to learn just from drawing and going back to the basics. At the same time, it’s been so fun to look at art from a scientific, empirical approach, and seeing how the two ways of looking at things synergize.

For me, there are two parts to drawing, seeing and creating. Seeing is more like a habit, and creating, or mark-making, is more technical, but both need to be practiced. The drawing process is about negotiating between these two aspects, to not just draw a picture, but describe a visual experience. So at the start of the semester, I wanted to learn as much as I could about the technical aspects of drawing, and I really obsessed over different types of graphite media, blenders, erasers etc. and ordered a bunch of stuff online. Now I have so much stuff that my room looks like a tornado went through it and at least 20+ different types of erasers.

It’s really interesting to me how much of the visual experience is taken for granted, and it’s been a real challenge for me to retrain myself to look at things from an artistic perspective, but i’ve loved how different it’s been. Things like just walking around and looking at stuff and enjoying it, and understanding why I enjoy, or going to art museums and being able to think about art conceptually.

I actually used to be really shy when it came to the arts, just because all my time in the Singaporean education system made me narrow my focus to maths and science very early on, and the arts were something a little frowned upon. Drawing was something that I wish I could do, but then never really got into it. Just from what I’ve learnt from drawing, I’m really glad that I tried it out. This drawing class has even made me reconsider my choice of major, and I’ll definitely be looking more into the visual arts, visual media studies, and trying to find a way to connect that with other departments. Thank you for this opportunity!

And this is really cool:

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