#lifelessons [2] (for artists) – A Few thoughts about the choice of subject matter for an artwork.

Draw whatever you wish to draw!

It is only natural that you would like to share your artwork at some stage of your creative journey.
Few people enjoy creating anything inside a void.
But… At some point you will encounter those who raise eyebrows at your work.
Family members are often those who ask, “why the hell did you draw that?”

So here’s the bottom line… If you fancy drawing skulls, do it.
Do you like cars? Draw them!
If something interests you, then draw it.
If you want to draw flowers, animals or whatever else you feel interested in, then do it.

You might have a perception that others don’t associate certain topics or themes with you.
You can be an extreme sportsman and also be fine artist who specializes in landscape paintings.
Why should we have limitations?
Even worse, be careful of the way you see your own conservatism, liberalism or whatever other “-ism”.
Don’t let self-imposed fears and doubts of “should I be drawing this” hold you back.

It’s art, it’s not always going to be a reflection of every single aspect of who or what you are.
Your art may or may not even reflect any parts of your life.
As an artist you can be an entertainer a storyteller, an actor, a student and a teacher.
Any one of those roles might dictate your choice of themes or topics at some point.

What if you feel uncomfortable drawing something, such as nudes?
Remember that the discomfort stems from the sum-total of all your experiences,
beliefs and fears. That is quite natural.
Pushing the envelope – or testing boundaries, especially your own boundaries is never easy.
If you do continue and pursue the “nude project” then do not share the art at first.
Sketch a bit and then ask yourself if it really is what floats your boat.
If something that you draw does feel like a great fit for your skill and field of interest then start by sharing it selectively.

Allow the selected few to give proper feedback.
After those first steps you can either decide to broaden your audience or carry on operating within a limited viewership.
Never feel pressurized to immediately post everything everywhere, all at once.
Art is something you do for yourself, first and foremost – irrespective of what it is that you create.

I’ve been swamped with people who never “associated” me with “cartoon pinups”.
That is fine.
I like the challenge of creating these images.
Many of my erstwhile critics even turned into supporters.
Some of my family members occasionally check-in to see what I did.
They may not always admit to liking my work, but fortunately that is on them!
This goes to show, stick to what you like, and do not worry too much about “what others think!”

Two recent “cartoon pinup” line-drawings.

2018 – TLR