The more I do digital the more, it seems, I miss traditional. Most of this longing comes from the fact that I miss the feeling of physically touching the work I create. My problem arises from a practical, financial one rather than a refusal to grind in traditional. I have wanted to do oil works, more elaborate pencil works but have lacked the space to do them in, hence why I turn to digital mediums to at least showcase where I’d like to one day be traditionally.
But then I had a revolutionary thought: that I was using these thoughts as an excuse to be lazy, to not do the time to truly hone my skills, and to not hide behind the CTRL+Z button. Maybe, over this past year or two, I have gained as much as I have lost. I can say that what I have learned digitally does guide my hand traditionally, after all, I am still using my own “hand” to paint, it just happens to not be with physical paint. But I find that, for me, the challenge of traditional has been a out-pouring of my soul: it is that rigorous, mulish process, that defines me, and that I feel defines much of traditional work in my mind.
In traditional work one cannot hide behind a wall of copy and paste, at least not in a more digital sense. To me, traditional work fuels my need to be authentic, to feel that I have created something with my own hands. To be reminded that to create is actual a labor, a work ethic, and a thing that actually does contain substance.
Maybe I can’t do oil paintings right now, but I can practice in acrylics and watercolors. I might not be able to really work on a big, or even medium scale, but I can work on a small one, and find my voice through practice and re-finding the passion I once had for pencil.
I have lost the art of me, even as I feel I get closer and closer to being a better me, in different avenues of my life.
I guess this is an outcry of my soul, longing and hoping I return to what I have abandoned for over a year. Maybe starting small is key, to build confidence, and to once again be reminded that to create is a labor–it is work, and it deserves the attention of my hands molding it into shape.
This, I understand, is not the same for each person for but me to be genuine, I feel I must, at the very least, not put down my sketching hand or else I might lose a part of me that has supported me and shaped me in ways I do not wish to lose sight of.
Also, this might force me to learn better composition in the most horrific, torturous way I can envision for myself. I think I might be a masochist…