Internal Travelogue: Imaginary People
I’m still under house arrest. Drawing every day for my character design book. I had to pass up a drawing trip with friends today! It’s kind of weird, taking a long break from drawing on the street. But I probably would be taking time off for winter anyway. It’s always a struggle finding enough interesting indoor locations to make it through the winter.
No matter! I have big plans for drawing expeditions next year. I’m just keeping that reward in my head through these long winter nights in front of the computer :)
So it seems appropriate to post a few more pages from the imagination sketchbook. Last time I showed some imaginary places. This time, some of the imaginary people.
Drawing people from imagination takes a bit of practice. For me, it’s not really imagination at all – more like drawing from memory. I’ve done a lot of drawing from live models, so the data bank is there.
Inventing (vs. looking at) faces and figures is both more formulaic and more freeing at the same time. Your imaginary people might tend to look a little doll-like. A bit caricatured, a bit abstracted. Stylized to fit some kind of memory-model you’ve installed over time. But what you set aside in realism, you gain back in creativity. When will you ever get to meet people like this for real?
I don’t know if this stuff is as interesting to you guys :) That’s the other thing about sketching from imagination. It makes you self conscious! Drawing a real event, you have a valid story to tell. It’s not about your own head, it’s reportage: I was here, this is what I saw, this really happened. Once you’re inventing, things get a bit shaky. Sometimes you second guess the value of doing it.
But like any kind of art – it has to be something you do for yourself. Partially – I’m simply having fun in this sketchbook. Trying to draw without a filter. Letting the subconscious choose subjects. I have this feeling that I have to put recurring motifs down on paper or I’ll forget them.
When I don’t have a sketchbook handy, I just write lists of paintings I want to do someday.
Does anyone else do that I wonder? That does sound a little crazy. But it’s not like I’m sticking these lists all over the bathroom mirror. I keep them on my phone mostly.
It’s probably not necessary. There will always be ideas for paintings, and I don’t think you forget your own major motifs. But it is interesting to see what keeps on coming back year after year. Of all the things you draw, which ones have staying power in your imagination.
That’s the real value of keeping a journal. Looking back at them years later.