Sketch for the drawing “Songs in Ink (15)”

Here’s the scribbles – the only ones – for my drawing »Songs in Ink (15)«. They look quite different, right? So different that one might doubt that they have flowed from the same hand.

Yet I made them both and I did so within a couple of minutes. What these two sketches show is not only that as an artist you must always be ready to discard a draft or even a half-finished work as mentioned in an earlier article. But that it matters what your focus is.

If you compare the two scribbles you can tell at the very first glance which one is the better, the stronger, the more expressive. And (not coincindentally): the much more straightforward one.

The left sketch looks like trying hard, so hard. Many lines, but to no avail. The right one, in contrast, shows few, but clear strokes. No hesitation here, no pondering.

Why? Because I set to work with an idea in my mind, an idea of the effect I wanted to evoke. I knew what I wanted people to say viewing my drawing. But I had no idea about what I wanted to depict, about what I myself had to say. Or rather: I overlooked it. I had the wrong focus.

The second scribble was dashed down on the paper when I had actually already given up and postponed the drawing to another day. That made the difference. Forget the message, forget the audience, forget fame and riches and sex and cars and just let it flow from your hand.

The tricky thing is that this state of ease is so hard to achieve.