Note to self: Don’t be (so) boring.
Why do what we do? (Gotta keep asking)
Do something every day.
Do that something every day for 30 years.
Has that something lost its freshness?
Over on Dumb Sketch Daily—my ongoing project of learning to see—every once in a while I get caught up with trying to create art. It is almost always a mistake for me to try to create art. I am no artist and the impulse to create art results in weirdly earnest dumb sketches, sort of like a child putting on dad’s tie (do dad’s wear ties these days?) or mom’s high heels.
Still—one must experiment. And that experimentation is good because it draws the questions forward yet again.
Doing something every day, and somehow keeping it fresh, means asking the “Why am I doing this?” that drives the behavior. Yesterday I had to remember that my goal is not to create art. Making art is simply too high and too unrealistic a goal for me. It works for others, and many who comment on that blog and whom I follow are creating honest-to-goodness, bona fide, Grade A art.
Every single day.
But not me.
I’m just trying to see better. That’s a goal and purpose I can rally around. Trying to see how light shines on stuff. Trying to see what a face looks like, the creases, the asymmetry, the tractor beams that shine from eyeballs. Seeing what posture says. Seeing how shadow falls across a 100 year-old building. All of that happens as I try (and mostly fail) to capture real life on paper. The real life happening around me.
Something good and productive happens with revisiting the “Why?” question. My sense is that if I can be reengaged with the question, and with seeing how it was answered differently today, I may even be less boring. At least for a few moments.
Dumb sketches: Kirk Livingston