I’m sending you some new work. They are ink drawings and mostly about A2 in size. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve ever worked this big and this messy before. It’s easy to blame external blocks – years in a small rented flat with the proverbial British carpets, not enough space on my desk once my computer, scanner and A3 printer are on it, “What would I then do with work so big?”, “They won’t fit under my scanner”, “How would I get that to the art director”….and on and on.
It may be something more subtle though – “artists work big but I’m an illustrator”, “To do a big self initiated piece I ought to have something serious or special to say”, “beautiful paper needs something good on it and it might not turn out good!” or maybe with my ingrained Calvinism “That is just too much fun to consider”!
Now with a bigger space and floorboards and a table in the kitchen for craft projects all the reasons seem silly. But maybe it isn’t so much gaining physical space but just allowing myself mental space to play. I’ve always known, in theory, how important it is to play and experiment as a way to moving your work along but somehow it always gets moved right down my list of priorities to somewhere under “send out mailers” or “clean bathroom” and time goes by!
I’m really loving working this big and the spontaneity of using inks and water. Sometimes starting with a very light pencil outline, but mostly just starting. But with years of drawing elements on separate bits of paper – easy to throw away if not right and then working in Illustrator where the delete button is there as a constant comforter it is a shock when I realise changes can’t easily be made! But I actually find it quite relaxing if I accept that this is part of the process, finding ways to reshape and change elements as “mistakes” happen and accepting I can’t control everything as I go along. If I get to a stage where I can control the results and everything turns out as expected I guess that’s when I should move on to some other technique!”
Friday: Studio Carta Grand Opening