33. Drawing on Your Own
There’s only one you, only one me. You can’t really copy me, and I can’t copy you – together we can move forward by inspiring and supporting each other, but we aren’t really in competition with each other. That goes against most business models of course, but creativity can’t be contained or restricted, otherwise it withers and dies. Copied ideas don’t have the original inspiration or fire behind them, and although art forgers can make big bucks, most people make art because it gives them pleasure and a sense of personal achievement. Essentially we are all unique even if we ‘borrow’ every now and then. When you translate someone else’s idea through your own talents and processes, it becomes your own. That’s different to copying.
You could never draw naturally in the same way that I do, simply because you haven’t spent the same amount of hours studying the same things that I have, how could you? You aren’t attracted to the same subjects I am, or play with the variety of unpredictable materials that I do, just for the fun of it. We are different, and so our art will differ in the same way that our fingerprints and our signatures do.
For this reason I am happy to share everything I have ever learnt or discovered. All the years that I have spent teaching and encouraging others to discover the joys of drawing have probably helped me as much as my students. Trying to describe the process of drawing in words has clarified and distilled it for me. It has also shown me the simplest ways to teach drawing to anyone who wants to learn.