My relationship with art today is great, but it has not always been the case!
It went from fun, to ”not so fun”, to ”painful” – and then slowly grew from an ”eureka” moment into the huge passion it is today
In the beginning, between 1995-1997, I remember having a lot of fun drawing F1 cars, different RC cars, monstertrucks, videogame characters & many different vehicles, aircraft, spaceships and a lot more. I didn’t really have that much self-awareness when it came to the quality and actual look of things – because it wasn’t super-pretty, neither correct – but I remember this time as a great one, because I enjoyed the creative journey of namely creating the thing on the paper and having a small adventure going on.
However, the transition from joy to pain came in a short time a few years later when I was about 12 years old (2002) when the students in my (new) class (in a new school) turned out to be lightyears ahead of me in skill. At that point, I restricted myself to draw fantasy-cars from the side only. Pretty much. Because that was the only thing I could do, allthough I wasn’t actually very good at that either.
However, the urge to return, to improve, and draw many different things accurately with joy was something that kept growing. I wanted to feel that creative joy again, like in the beginning, and defeat the painful memories of the times when I couldn’t draw like my fellow students.
In 2005, I wanted to change it, and become good at it. So I put a lot of effort into improving my skillset. It kind of worked, as I dared to do mistakes and accept that not everything wasn’t going to look perfect. So in one sense, I had taken a few steps forward, but once again, my competition was way ahead of me in their skills. My works were not accurate or pretty enough – and to further demotivation (mostly) I discovered the world of brilliant artists online. People that were even better than the ones around me in school, drawing with the aid of pen tablets, computers and software. The world was not fair, I got that, but there I got an idea of what it actually felt like.
Allthough my interest declined and my confidence was brittle – I had not given up.
I did understand that I was indeed creative; I had a lot of wild ideas, wilder than the most around me, and I wanted to try things, at least, while others just didn’t bother. Eventhough they were skilled. That puzzled me.
So, I didn’t have any skills, and hardly any artistic confidence – but I had the creative drive. In my rather hopeless situation, it seemed as if I at least had one key-element in place.
That’s why I took the setbacks without emotional breakdown, and swore to keep the dream alive no matter how shitty I would feel. Another thing that set me apart from the ones around me, was that I didn’t feel a need to restrict myself to a specific style or a specific thing to draw. I wanted to go anywhere I wanted, because that was the ambition I had without knowing it, when I was on creative adventures about 10 years earlier. And, I couldn’t imagine restricting myself.
The problem was that I expected my learning time to be a lot shorter, and the learning process a lot easier, and I also hoped that I had a talent, that time would eventually unlock in a super-hero fashion, and within a short time becoming an artistic ace.
But these three things never happened. And I knew it was a naive longshot anyway, and that it would be too good to be true.
2005 was the year I realized that I actually had no real talent, neither a proper foundation or a concrete purpose to draw things anyway. I also come to accept the fact that I was missing a few vital components in the skill-set. However – I couldn’t put the finger on them myself. Eventhough I had teachers, my family and friends around me providing me with various kinds of feedback, I couldn’t translate the discussions into improvements. But I kept dreaming, resisting the demotivation, because I was on a mission; I was just going to crack it.
2006 was the turning point I had waited for. And I did not expect things to take a massive turn for the better as quickly as it did – but it actually happened. I got to the first couple of art-classes (First year, upper-secondary highschool / Swedish year one at ”Gymnasiet”), expecting to perform below average at best and to struggle the most of everyone. But after a few lessons, it turned out that I had a completely different approach to the drawing process. The experiences from 2005 had finally translated into improvements, allthough very slowly – and so – the results were way better than I expected. My teacher approved everything I did. It was great but also quite surreal, as I was so used to hear how off I usually was. I adapted to this slowly, and with caution – with all the years of setbacks in fresh memory.
In the spring of 2007, I managed to beat a deadline and create the most complicated, biggest drawing I had ever created. It was without reference, so it wasn’t perfect – but it was a major eureka, an indescribable personal success, and the moment I had waited for, for so long.
-More to follow!