Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Element of Surprise and the Risk of Failure

One of the stumbling blocks of the creative mind is that originality often goes hand in hand with fear of failure. Falling back onto safe ground is much easier than flying into new territory. What I'm referring to here is the tendency for one to relive past success by duplicating what works well. This is a huge subject with octopus arms miles long.

"Cleaning Chaos" came from doing a bit of window washing. It was safe to do the miniature nature of the work. The topic is surprising and therefor interesting. The fear factor came with the physical act of drawing. There was no prep pencil work. I'd never drawn this theme before. I started inking at the left (the squeegee) and built it to the right. There is a lot of self trust in this type of drawing. It's either that, or foolishness.

The cactus drawing is a much more safe drawing. Even though there was again no pencil prep work, the elements have repetition of form that is more easily controlled. From a distance this piece of art feels uninteresting. The surprise is in the story, which is visible only to the viewer who looks closer. Of course, with this type of art there is always a risk that the viewer will not think to stick his nose so close.