I recently completed a small project called “Stream of Unconsciousness.” A collection of automatic drawings and doodles created in the last 6-9 months brought together in one long side scrolling website.
Sometimes, I refer to myself as designer by day and artist by night. I use the term artist loosely, because I don’t make a living off my drawings and paintings. I spend most of my day time creating work for other people - with endless streams of feedback, revision, iteration, at the end of a project, the original vision becomes the combined vision of creative directors, coworkers and of course the clients.
I usually come home feeling drained and a little lost, but after a long walk or staring at the wall for a while - the weight of the day will float away - then I start to get an itch. The itch to put ink on paper, to make a mark, a dot, a line, a mess with my hands.
Once I get my fat brush markers and my big sketchbook, I put on a great drawing movie, like Dredd or Aliens or maybe just the Colbert Report, I’m ready! Then I look down at my fresh crispy white sheet of paper and I freeze up. After a few bouts of this, I realized the pressure of creating something amazing and beautiful that everyone would “like” is still lingering - long after I’ve left the office.
I came to the conclusion I just had to let go of all those thoughts flashing in my head like a highway roadblock. So I closed my mind, I put pen to paper and moved my arm around till doodle after doodle started to pour out of me. Draw something, turn the page, draw, turn, draw, turn.
When I stopped thinking about other’s perceptions, when I let go of perfection, when I let go of what is good and bad “art”, when I just let it pour out, something interesting began to happen. Those doodles turned into something more than just doodles, they turned into a clear reflection of my mental state, sometimes reflected on the faces I drew, or simply just written out for anyone to read.
I still want people to like my work, I am not going to lie. However my perspective on what kind of ‘like’ matters, has shifted. I plan to make more of these in the future, they’re the best therapy money can’t buy.
Please share if you have a friend suffering from a chronic case of artists-block or doodlitis.
Most of these automatic drawings were created by tools I received via my subscription to Art Snacks. Its a great way to let go of your usual habits and work with mediums you’ve never tried before. Also who doesn’t love getting awesome shit in the mail. By the way, no one is paying me for this shout-out, I just love Art Snacks.