Art & Patience
Patience is a word that comes up all too often in art, from the beginning of your learning cycle right up to the end of time. You will forever here that question “How do you stay so patient?” or “I wish I had your patience”. So what is patience when it comes to drawing or creating exactly? Well I’ll tell you, it’s a word that should not exist when it comes to art in my opinion.
So you’ll pick a subject and be like “ok so I need to do this in an hour or there’s no point!”, or you’ll be thinking “well I haven’t completed the eye yet and it’s taken me three hours, I give up!” Well I’ll tell you now to NEVER give up and I’ll now let you into a little secret. The work you’re comparing your own with has taken many hours, weeks, months and sleepless nights to complete (maybe). So to begin your journey you really need to forget the magical myth that this can be done over night. And do not compare yourself to others or what you see online because the reality is, it’s really not that simple. These artists put in very long and hard hours to complete their masterpieces; some have jobs and draw or paint in their spare time. So the reason they can do this is not about patience, it’s about enjoyment, commitment, dedication, passion, and the love for drawing or painting. It’s the ability to not want to finish a piece you’re seeing results within, it’s looking forward to getting back to that drawing when you have some spare time. Time has no meaning when it comes to art (unless you’re under deadlines). So in the wise words of Leonardo De Vinci – “Art is never finished, only abandoned”.
Ok so you start a new subject, it’s taking so long to complete. You become a bit bored or afraid of messing it up after spending so much time on it already. All these emotions are normal and every artist will experience this. Think of it like that song you once loved, but you played it over and over and over and now you need something new. You hear that song a couple of months later and enjoy it again, right? It’s the exact same thing. Do not be afraid to be like…. “Ok I need to take a break from this to work on something else for a while”. These are all very normal emotions but DO NOT abandon the art work, keep it! Take some time out with other things. Then return to that work with fresh eyes and a fresh mind at a later date, trust me.
Below is the first semi realistic drawing I completed at a very young age. I stole my brothers pencils & FHM magazine (don’t tell him ok). I would have been about twelve or thirteen I think. Ok so I started off with the flag, which seemed to be going well. Once I’d completed the flag I thought “I wonder if I can recreate the whole image in pencil, no matter how long it takes me…. I’m going to try”. So that’s what I did and it must have taken me about a month to complete. I’d go out with my friends, hang out, and smoke cigarettes (again don’t tell anyone). So I’d be out with my friends, it was the school summer holidays. I loved seeing my friends and hanging out, however I had this bug. In the back of my mind I was also looking forward to going home and carrying on with my drawing. I imagined putting on some music, chilling out and drawing on my own. Ok so it took me a long time but once it’s finished what do I have to look forward to? And that’s where the next drawing is born and the next. So in closing, it’s not about patience at all, it’s about enjoying what you do and appreciating every precious moment you get to create.