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Saturday, November 8, 2014

An Artist Without Creativity

Have you ever heard of such a thing? You see, I'm not just a blogger or a writer, I'm an artist. For many years, the medium I craved the most was to draw. I was born with a pencil in my hand it seems. I never strayed far from pen and paper; I would sometimes get in trouble at school for doodling on my homework.

But I'm also not creative. I'm a copy artist. I have no clue if this is an actual word or not. However, I'm not a cheater. Tracing is not art. But I've been coping work ever since I was a child.

This is one of the first pictures I remember drawing, because it was a process to record an episode of Sailor Moon, grab my TV tray, and pause it at the exact moment that I wanted to copy.

[I remember going through my childhood complaining of crappy VCRs that had horrible noise whenever they paused and it was impossible to get a good picture to draw from. And every 5 minutes it would un-pause and I'd have to find the exact moment again!]

Anime became my obsession. The thing I loved most about anime was the fact that it was both very simplistic yet very complex.

I still have all of my old artwork. Page after page of every Sailor Moon character. A ton of Pokemon and Digimon pictures. Every Ranma 1/2 character, and even some Tenchi Muyo.

But very little original artwork. Yes, I took all of the elective art classes that I could, and I did draw a lot of things on my own, but my best work was always the original work of someone else. The only time I traced anything was if I had other plans for the piece.

This piece, for example, was taken off of the internet originally. I have no idea who drew it, but when I saw it, I had plans of my own. Even though I traced the work, I wanted to test my abilities with a new medium: oil pastels.

I didn't do very many of these. Even though it was fun, it didn't seem worth it. It looks rather sloppy.

Scratch art became my new favorite medium. It was something I discovered in high school art class. It is a sheet of silver or gold foil glued to a backing, and a thin layer of black ink is applied over the top. Your goal: scratch out your vision. Well, because I had no vision of my own, I once again took from an artist. This time, someone on DeviantArt had drawn a series of werewolf poses, and because of how the medium works (you can't erase pencil on an ink surface) I had to trace using chalk and an outline. This certainly got the job done, and I filled in all the gaps myself.

I've done lots of other things, too. This picture, for example, is scanned straight from a "How to Draw
Anime" book that I own. I was using a very old program, Photoshop Business Edition, and learning how to color art using layers. It's not as easy as it sounds. There was definitely no use of the paint bucket here.

Bob Ross was my perfect victim. Ahem, inspiration. He actually wanted you to copy his work. After doing a couple of pieces to get used to how he paints, this was my first real attempt. This is only on an 8x10 piece of canvas and was incredibly hard to scale down so far.

Some of you may recognize this picture - it is the one I use for my Kat in the Hat Facebook profile photo. It is one of my favorites. I drew this after I graduated high school and found myself bored at Bates Technical College. This time, I had moved beyond lousy crayons and even past "normal" colored pencils and into the likes of Prismacolor pencils. 100 times better. Yet still, despite all my advancement, this was still not an original piece.

Nothing that I drew from my own mind was good enough for me.

This... is an original piece. Obviously inspired by other things, but still from my own brain. Unfortunately undated, I can't even tell you how long ago I did this. I'm thinking it was back in high school.

Maybe I'm a cheater and not really an artist, or maybe an artist is their own worst critic and I'm being too hard on myself. I might never figure it out.

I wish that I still drew today, though. I've done some artsy things (a new scratch art piece and that Bob Ross painting were the most recent) but never to the scale that I used to. I kind of miss it.

Do you have anything that you used to do when you were young that you miss? Would you pick it up again, or have you grown out of it? Let me know in the comments!

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