I’ve been going through a serious artists block at the moment. It seems like every time I go to paint, whatever I create goes disastrously wrong and I end up covering it all up with a layer of colour – not fun. I don’t know why this sometimes happens to me, but even on days when I’m filled with inspiration, I just can’t put it into form.
After a feeling of hopelessness from scrapping my last piece of artwork, I was left with the thought – what is it that makes me love art? With a whirlwind of emotions in my mind, and stress over the fact I couldn’t paint anything, I just stopped and sat still.
Over the last few days my mind has been in overdrive, working every hour I have, trying to push my creativity to the max. So, this last failed painting really left me thinking about my practice in general. Contemplating what art really means to me, I realised that it’s something I can’t force myself to make. Considering this, I remembered what it was that first drew me to drawing and painting – that feeling of unwinding. Art used to be a complete release for me, and I would sketch to release completely from my cluttered mind. Therefore, it’s no surprise that I was struggling to paint anything when trying to force myself into creating a set piece of work.
Some of the best artwork I’ve ever created was from a spur of the moment. When I didn’t think or plan something, and I simply drew. Realising this, today I decided to stop, and go back to where my love of art first began: sketching.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved to draw. Some of my earliest memories are of myself sat down creating fashion illustrations and designs (I’d always dreamt of becoming a fashion designer). So, thinking about the bliss that these illustrations brought me I decided to sit, free my mind, and draw.
When I first began studying art at school, my subject matter was always myself. Drawing self portraits is something I’ve always felt most comfortable doing, as when you create the sketch, it’s only your opinion that matters. There’s no need to worry that the person you’re drawing won’t think it’s good enough, as the only person you have to please is yourself. Because I learnt to draw by studying myself, it’s something that brings me the most comfort. I also find that focusing on my own portrait, and transforming myself into a piece of art helps me to reconnect and get back to my inner self. For me, it is another form of meditation.
I drew myself three times today, and felt so much better for it afterwards. I wanted to share these sketches with you as I think that doing this, unwinding, and re-establishing your connection to yourself is something very important. By reading this, I hope that you’re inspired to relax and create some artwork next time you feel yourself becoming stressed, and that this helps you to unwind.
“Sitting like a mountain let your mind rise, fly and soar.” – Sogyal Rinpoche