Artist state of mind or "Artist-mode"

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    Artist state of mind or "Artist-mode"

    Hi everybody,

    I just started to read "The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards and I think it make perfect sense that the state of mind make the difference in perception of the artist and us the other people.

    I want to ask for experienced artists to share their opinion on this subject.

    I want to know how they feel when they start to work.

    I hope some of the great artists on this forum to try to induce/describe us their working state of mind.

    Thanks.

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    Blank Paper....overwhelmed

    Start to work....focused and intrigued

    Finished....disgusted or proud.

    Then I show it to somebody and they crap on it.

    My New Neglected Sketchbook
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    "Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
    "My mind is made up. Don't confuse it with facts." -- Terence McKenna
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSeRider
    Blank Paper....overwhelmed

    Start to work....focused and intrigued

    Finished....disgusted or proud.

    Then I show it to somebody and they crap on it.
    That's me too, only when I show it to someone, I'm the one that craps on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSeRider
    Blank Paper....overwhelmed

    Start to work....focused and intrigued

    Finished....disgusted or proud.

    Then I show it to somebody and they crap on it.
    Spot on.


    Es fließt durch meine Venen, Es schläft in meinen Tränen
    Es läuft mir aus den Ohren, Herz und Nieren sind Motoren

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    C'mon men, I know you can do a lot better!

    What I wanted to know about was changes in the way you look at the subject and other psychological related stuff.

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    I don't know... When I draw I think about all kinds of crap that is going on in my life. So much drama... I think it comes out in some of my stuff, espeacially the stuff I draw in pencil.

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    Re: Betty Edwards
    I'm a big fan of the drawing exercises in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. It's one of the best introductory books out there, You should know, however, that the "science" it's reputedly based on is outdated and extremely oversimplified. "Right side/left side" is a useful metaphor, nothing more.


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    I have this book. And hear nothing but good things about it. But I have such a hard time getting into it for some reason.

    * Help a CA artist! Visit the Constructive Critique section! *


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    i just let my hands do the work. i let the brain do some erasing sometimes, but that's pretty much it.


    um, i think art's a matter of willpower and a controlled(?) state of schizophrenia. i can never allow myself to wait for divine inspiration or any such thing. i just basically start drawing, forcing my reality onto the blank canvas.

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    Thanks everyone for sharing you thoughts.

    Elwell: I just trying to find tricks that works for different people. I know that art require many hours of hard and sometime rewarding work and nothing can replace that, but i still think that there might be some things that can help one to see better and draw better.

    For me, drawing upside down helps me to get better proportions.

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    yes,
    I think what ever way of tricking yourslef to not know what you are drawing makes the piece go towards a description of reality rather than a product of thinking.

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    I think I heard someone relate their drawing state of mind to something like zen, although most people probably haven't gotten there yet. it's not easy to draw when you're in a bad mood or frustrated about something. I like to listen to music or the radio while draw because otherwise my mind wanders and I get distracted from the drawing, and music can also be huge motivation/inspiration. one thing that I find really important, although hard to achieve, is holding so many different ideas in mind as I draw. when you're drawing some person from your imagination, you have to keep in mind how to draw people, all the different things you've seen and learned about anatomy, expression, gesture, seeing the whole picture as a composition, all of your own ideas that you've built up for this character or whatever. concentration is essential, but sometimes when I'm part of the way through I big drawing I have more fun jumping around from one element to another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutillus
    I think I heard someone relate their drawing state of mind to something like zen...
    my favorite times is when i pass the warmup stage (however long it takes) and drawing and painting begins to flow out of you. you loose all sence of time and space and sort of become one with what you're creating. one minute you're staring at a blank canvas sharpening your pencin and the next minute the sun is coming up and you realise that you really need to get some sleep.
    its even better if you give up control and let your subconcious draw upon all the things it learned over the years of practice and let it do all the hard work for you. it becomes very spiritual, like a higher power is controling you. it's a very exiting state of mind. sadly it's not something you can call upon at will.

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    Blank Paper.........Excited and Giddy (so much potential!!!)

    Start to work.......Overwhelmed (it had so much potential!!! )
    (Where did it go wrong?? Better focus.)


    Finnished............Disgusted or Proud

    Then I show it to someone and then they don't buy it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Dobsky
    Blank Paper.........Excited and Giddy (so much potential!!!)

    Start to work.......Overwhelmed (it had so much potential!!! )
    (Where did it go wrong?? Better focus.)


    Finnished............Disgusted or Proud

    Then I show it to someone and then they don't buy it.

    If people don't buy your stuff the rest of us are FUCKED...and not in a good way...

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    I was just kidding..............sort of.

    The whole psychology of perception is one of the coolest things about drawing and painting. Watching how your mind percieves and interperets information is.........like.so trippy, dooooooood.
    I think the more we understand what happens in our heads during this process, the better artists we will become.

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    noserider- was spot on... Man so many times I was super siked after finishing a drawing to then post it and it getting smashed... then i look at it again and im like.. "Fuck.. What was i looking at in the first place..." Thats why i love showing my artwork so people who cant draw first.. Cuz they usually are always auper impressed. Which then sikes me out to think that my drawing could so how be good enough to show here.. Then its smashed.. then i get pissed, then, i draw just to draw, go into a drawing slump, get excited about drawing again.. draw something which i think is cool, show it to non-artists, they love it, post it here.. it gets smashjed and the cycle continue.. Thank god Im a Taurus!

    Mainloop- man i must be dyslexic.. cuz i thought you asked how many people are on lsd

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    Thanks everyone for this lively thread!

    Today while riding the bus I startted to read the "Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters" book of Robert Beverly Hale and in the verry beginning of the book he say:
    Drawing, like so many other skills, is a matter of being able to think of several things at once. Since the conscious mind seems to b able to think about only one thing at a time, the subconscious mind must take care of a good deal when we draw. So the process of learning to draw demands that we acquaint the subconscious mind with a certain amount of material, so that the subconscious can largely take over the control of our hand.

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    Oh, one more thing. While looking around the treads of peoples who responded to this thread I found some thoughts of Mentler on drawing. The thoughts were in Vigostar's sketch group thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mentler
    This is just to loosen your thinking a bit and may seem a little trite but I think it helps me!

    When you think of a car you tend to think of the shape, make, model, color, year etc.
    That is not the most important thing about a car however!

    The thing that is important about a car is that it will take your places.
    It will take you from point A to point B ‡ we need to thing about where we are and where we want to end up ‡ where we need to turn, how fast we want to go, when we need to speed up, slow down and stop.

    Sure we are doing this in a vehicle but the vehicle itself is not the important part.

    The same is true of drawing the figure or anything else ‡ we need to not think of the vehicle/figure but of the journey we want are drawing instrument to take ‡ where we want it to start and where we want it to end up ‡ taking into account the ins and outs, ups and downs, twists and turns and all the bumps along the way ‡ don't just feel the bumps, think about why that bump is there, talk yourself through every turn, every change in direction the change in the weight of the line etc. Drawing is not about the thing you are drawing it is about the journey, the act of drawing itself <> DRAWING IS THE THING

    Hope this is as helpful to you as it has been to me!
    Thanks Mentler, I hope you will stop bye around here sometime!

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    Here's a little detour, but I hope it applies.

    I was thinking about how the our psychological state affects how we perceive things. And then i started to think about the psychology of perception. This shit is weird.
    If you google psychology of perception and then look for images of illusions you'll find some crazy things. Like parallel lines that don't look parallel and two objects of the same size that are made to look like different sizes. (Sorry, I'm not very good with this linking thing.)
    I think we are battling crazy optical phenomenon like this while we draw all the time. It makes questions like is the head too big or too small really strange.
    Anyway, check it out.

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    Yes, psychology of perception, the Gestalt. There's one that is a picture of a young woman, but if you look at it carefully, its also the picture of an old woman
    Not the best sample, but oh well http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~cfs/305_...altGifs/YO.gif

    There are many more, another known one is one that seems like the silhouette of two faces facing each other, but the empty space between them forms a vase.

    Interesting stuff.

    EDIT:

    I think we are battling crazy optical phenomenon like this while we draw all the time. It makes questions like is the head too big or too small really strange.
    I never thought about this, it could be. The thing is, is the feeling of the head being too big a universal experience in which every person looking at the drawing feels the head is too big, or does it depend on each person individually. Maybe a lot of arguments over things could be due to different optical illusions.

    Last edited by brokk; February 1st, 2006 at 04:11 PM.
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    It's been said - but I have to put my 2 cents in!

    It's always been curious to me how someone can completely fall in love with a piece of their own art.. not realizing that it contains flaws of any kind. Then once they show it to others - only then is it brought to their attention that hey this off kilter.. or the anatomy is wrong. I wonder is it egotism (lack of vocab.. but hey.. you know what I mean) or is it just doing the best with what knowledge you have on the subject at the time?

    Guess you just learn and adapt with experience - hopefully.

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    Blahism & all: I think that initialy we are in love with our piece of art because we still dwell in that blissfull state that alowed us to draw, we still are in the feeling world in wich the dominant state is how many mystics describe. After we show our piece to others..... well I think we lose the state of mind, we switch to verbal and why not critical mode and everything or almoust seems just crap.

    Last edited by adiere; February 2nd, 2006 at 01:55 AM.
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    Okey, as a programmer i got pretty use to "flow".
    The extreme state of concentration and creativity where you lose track of time.

    Also, i believe "The Science and Practice of Drawing" by Harold Speed explains the process of "seeing" best, he explains how you make associations between touch and sight as a child, and your sight becomes a slave to those associations.

    "Is it round?" (Touch) "Is it soft?" (Touch) "What colour is it?" (Sight)

    So "seeing" is removing yourself from those associations and just looking at it for what it really is, Colour.
    Not that you should limit yourself to it, eventually you should be able to project a sense of touch into your drawings aswell, so they can tell it's soft etc.

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    I think that initialy we are in love with our piece of art because we still dwell in that blissfull state that alowed us to draw, we still are in the feeling world in wich the dominant state is how many mystics describe. After we show our piece to others.....
    The more artists I encounter the more I realize how visceral they are.....that is obtained through intuition rather than from reasoning or observation.

    I've been outta the loop for awhile, however I recognize that visceral approach in myself as well.

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    You Ain't no Nina!.....

    "Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
    "My mind is made up. Don't confuse it with facts." -- Terence McKenna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Dobsky
    Here's a little detour, but I hope it applies.

    I was thinking about how the our psychological state affects how we perceive things. And then i started to think about the psychology of perception. This shit is weird.
    If you google psychology of perception and then look for images of illusions you'll find some crazy things. Like parallel lines that don't look parallel and two objects of the same size that are made to look like different sizes. (Sorry, I'm not very good with this linking thing.)
    I think we are battling crazy optical phenomenon like this while we draw all the time. It makes questions like is the head too big or too small really strange.
    Anyway, check it out.

    OK, this may sound a little flaky but I couldn't resist the urge to put this idea out there. I was reading the other day about the physiology of smell and the book happened to mention that our olfactory pathways reach far enough into our nervous systems to be able to influence our behavioral patterns as well as our memory. That's why you can't ever forget the smell of your parent's house or your grandmother's cookies. That's why those smells mean something more to us than they might to someone who had just met our parent's or grandmother.

    Well this led me to think that the reason we continue to keep battling these crazy optical illusions is that the images we see are actually more subjective than we'd like to think. As you said before, our sight is really dependent on our perception and our perception is dependent on our psychology. When I walk down the same street every morning to my studio, its amazing the different things I notice every day. When I start drawing, sometimes I think in angles, sometimes planes, sometimes value, sometimes line... The amount of things to remember to see in a given observation are pretty mind boggling. My drawings reflect what I see and what I see reflects the psychology that I'm in. When working from life on an extended pose, it can be really frustrating or enlightening to see the drawing change over time depending upon what I am trying to observe.

    Ok, well what does this have to do with my earlier point about our physiology? Since our sight is hard-wired into our brain through the optic nerve, our perception is dependent upon the areas that these nerves are able to reach in our brain. Because our optic nerve is a part of our central nervous system, ie incapable of regenerating itself, is it possible that our whole visual world is more a conceived structure of what we have spent our lifetime being aware of? Therefore what we are perceptually aware of may physically manifest itself in neural pathways in our brain. And the opposite is true as well, our neural pathways will influence what we are perceptually aware of... duh.

    Back to the optical illusions again, if you have any advice for how to get around them, I'd love to hear. Also, do you have any interesting thoughts on the optical distortion field? I try to keep my drawing board at a perpendicular angle when life drawing but because I'm short, I invariably always have to look up at a head. I've noticed that I tend to make my heads too small if I'm not careful. I also struggle with the perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blahism
    It's been said - but I have to put my 2 cents in!

    It's always been curious to me how someone can completely fall in love with a piece of their own art.. not realizing that it contains flaws of any kind. Then once they show it to others - only then is it brought to their attention that hey this off kilter.. or the anatomy is wrong. I wonder is it egotism (lack of vocab.. but hey.. you know what I mean) or is it just doing the best with what knowledge you have on the subject at the time?

    Guess you just learn and adapt with experience - hopefully.

    One last thought before signing off on this thread for now. This a great question. I personally think that we lose our ability to see the flaws in our work, not because of our personal attachment to it, but we become somewhat immune to the signals that are telling us that we are seeing something. Once again to borrow from that book I'm reading on olfactory perception; when we smell something, we are only aware of our first impression for about 15-45 seconds. Then our nose adapts to it, blocks that smell out so that we can perceive other ones. Thank god for that since I'd hate to be smelling the strongest scent in the room at all times.

    In the same way, I think we adapt to the big picture of our work right away, in favor of concentrating on the smaller nuances we eventually get down to focusing on. That's why it's important to constantly step back and reevaluate your work from a greater distance or find some other way to see it differently. Maybe take lots of breaks. I dunno. I believe that I can feel if my picture is off somehow, but a lot of times I end up ignoring that nagging feeling. I wish I wouldn't.

    "The progress of learning is from indefinite to definite, not from sensation to perception. We do not learn to have percepts but to differentiate them."
    J.J Gibson
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    Hello everybody,

    now I think we have an idea about the state of mind and would be great to findout how this state of mind can be obtained.

    People around here have any hints? How you obtain the state?

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    Interesting. I gave up drawing for about ten years and started up again last year after coming across a comic art forum. While i lost a lot of time, my work now is more anatomically and technically correct than before, mainly due to comments on forums. But at the same time my overall pictures are getting worst. My older ones which have a lot of flaws have a lot more life in them and have a kind of of correctness in them selves and are visually nicer. I am wondering in my effort to try and be as anatomically/technically correct am I missing the bigger picture so to speak or is it just a case of rose tinned glasses or just that i am still rusty from such a long break.

    just wondering

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    Mitze: In Betty Edwards book she describe various stages. In early ages, we as kids had a better sense of composition. Later, as we become more focused on details we don't care any more about compostition.

    I don't know how your drawings are, but checking the composition might be of help.

    Just my opinion.

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