Inking My Thoughts and Emotions: The Process of Drawing
All of my art begins from a circulation of ideas, emotions, and desires. Before my pen even makes a single mark on the paper, my brain has imagined many possible variations of my desired imagine, essentially seeking how I’d like to represent my idea. The one that I am most passionate about, the one that I cannot erase from my mind, becomes the chosen image. But do not be fooled, as it never turns out the way I imagine it. When I am drawing, I begin with the most emotive part – the eyes. From there I let my hand and brain dance wildly, in sync. At times, I will lightly sketch out my image in pencil first, but at other times – when I am much too excited about the idea – I will dive right in with the ink. There is so much going on in my mind at that point that I find myself in a state of laser-focus. For example, these are a few of the things that occupy my mind during the drawing process: I am constantly analyzing and adjusting the tonality in relation to each little detail as well as how effectively it works as a whole; I am considering appropriate proportions/dimensions/perspectives and all of the drawing elements while making intentional choices; I am also allowing for unexpected creative moments that lead to new discoveries and challenges to elevate the work. All the while, my mind also wonders about how the animals I portray live, the thoughts and feelings that they experience in their lifetime, and how we can live in harmony with nature. Perhaps the hardest part of the process for many artists is knowing when a drawing or artwork is done. For me, I know a piece is done when I can happily accept the work without any major flaws and when it feels right; it really comes down to an analysis of the work objectively to check for technical errors, as well as a more emotional acceptance of the work, essentially asking myself whether I believe I created something worthwhile to share with an audience or not and if I am proud or not of my creation. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, so it’s interesting to consider where I draw the line with my art. When I step back to observe the work, if I am filled with immense pride, joy, and giddiness, then I know am finished.
For Inktober, I decided to continue developing my Beings series, which I began creating in 2012 when I was studying on exchange at the University of Newcastle in Australia. My beloved piece, Don’t Strip Me Of My Stripes (which you can see on my website here), started a fascination with presenting an elegant fusion of animals and people in a surrealist way. I never saw the divide between human and non-human animals, so I desired to challenge the way we see and treat animals. These inky sketches continue exploring this concept and allow me to better understand how I will proceed with my series. I’d love to know what you think of my Cougar Lady and Cheeky Gazelle, and whether or not you share a similar approach to drawing.
I’ll be creating more drawings throughout the month, and I hope that you will join in on the fun! Be sure to submit your inky creations on Instagram tagging @junto_magazine with #juntoinktober for your chance to be published in our December issue!
Katerina Pravdivaia (art editor for Junto Magazine)