What I always tell my students when we are drawing the figure for fashion is to always pay attention to your core exaggeration. Drawing lines in moderation is like taking a little bit of life out of your subjects. Drawing with exaggeration is important for fashion because it gives your drawings a three-dimensional attitude and the spirit of the person appears from the exaggeration. Especially the human figure, the life in these drawings derived from your ability to imagine the lines in it's extremes.
I wrote this article and didn't finish it in 2013, and it has been sitting in my 'draft' folder all this time. Fast forward to 2018, and realizing, I'm back in this state of mind. What's new?
Having bouts of existential angst? Kiekergaard's Concept of Anxiety talks about anxiety as dizziness, a kind of overwhelmed altered state. While this may be true,
Kiekergaard also state that anxiety is different from fear because anxiety is linked to the concept of freedom and the so-called infinite possibilities of possibility. He continues to add that anxiety is essential to creativity, a connection thought of by Rollo May. But perhaps looking at a simplified concept of anxiety, it is as any emotion is a bell curve, the beginning of anxiety is when you are hyperactively excited, energetic and in high spirit, then it hits a certain 'tipping point' where it will curve back down to emotions that are more aptly connected to the word we understand. Anxiety has a negative connotation as it seems to project emotions that relates to lack, and the feeling of out of control.
If this is you, or if you can see yourself in some kind of an altered state that comes and goes. Perhaps lets look at all these theories in a positive light. Anxiety is overused in psychotherapy and is not a word usually linked to a positive outcome, but if just for a moment we consider the idea of anxiety as having too many choices, too many possibilities and the problem is how to choose what you truly want (let us not confused this with what is right!). Sometimes our choices seems right but the result might be the opposite, however that is not necessarily the 'wrong' choices, an alternative thought is that it might be a process of learning that is often forgotten. A process of learning or discovering something new involves a bunch of failures, does it not? So if anxiety is then related to this process of learning, our anxiety of failure is a necessity if we want to grow, learn, and become a fully realised human being.
A fully realised human being is in my opinion someone who accepts that failure sometimes happen, perhaps expects the process of life to be bumpy and challenging, expecting success but realised that failure is part of that success.
Another interesting and perhaps a more accurate description of a fully realized human being is someone who lives whole heartedly, as Brene Brown's theory of Vunerability strongly points at.
This week I finally had a mini breakthrough in my sharpie sketches by creating a small scene. I manage to engage the local people to pose for me. The Mellvin Seafood is a hawker stalls located between Joo Chiat Road and Marshall Lane, they are your typical Singapore style no-fuss hawker selling drinks, Bak Kut Teh, Stir Fry food, plastic chairs and a TV playing live soccer. There are a few regular locals milling about, having a beer, chit chatting and watching soccer.
I decided to park myself in the next table and found a cozy place to sketch. About an hour into it, the sketch is beginning to take shape, the hawker lady noticed me when she came by to clean my table, she began to make a fuss and was calling all the local people to have a look at what I am doing. Language is possibly the biggest saving grace to my ego. A public display isn't comfortable because I am truly not comfortable with the attention I am getting, It's far too out of control to enjoy.
These are my models, after a minor fuss on what I am doing, and having not understood a single word they were talking about, aside from the word "lihai' which means 'skillful' in this context, I offered to draw whoever wants to be drawn. These two guys volunteer themselves, and the hawker lady later propped up his little son right in front of them and told him to be still, this little kid was smiling the entire time, while I had began to scramble to draw them. In my haste, I didn't manage to fit all three of them in a page, but manage to draw all three. It must have been at least 20 minutes or more that these three sat for me. While i was drawing, a sense of euphoria as well as discomfort was coming over me. I felt my drawing hand achy. The hawker lady came with a can of green tea and offered it to me for free after I told her that I will give her a copy of the drawings afterwards. She was very enthusiastic and was sounding quite ecstatic. She didn't quite understand when I tried to tell her that the drawings will be posted on my website, she just looked at me with a sad eye and said she doesn't do computer.
My models seem quite happy if not a little self conscious during the sitting. Some of the other locals would stand behind me and gave them the feedback on my progress in Mandarin, all of which passes me by like water on a stream. I was happy I didn't understand a word. One of them attempted conversation and asked if I was a foreigner, i said yes. He was quite impressed that I could write the 'Chinese character' on their sign that said 'Mellvin Seafood' even when I didn't know how to read.
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