Sunday, 27 November 2011

"If you don't use it, you lose it."

I'm so frustrated with my deteriorated drawing skills!

I've committed for an art exhibit for the House of Sharing. The exhibit is to take place in less than two weeks (December 10), but I'm still struggling to do what I want to do. I have a very clear idea in my mind's eye, but it would seem that my skills have eroded too much for me to make my mental image manifest on paper.

I can't believe how difficult it is -- when did I get this bad?! I've been drawing from as long as I can remember, and went on to study Graphic Design. During my studies I realised that I'm not interested in working in the marketing industry, so I continued to study English Literature and Creative Writing afterwords. Since I've finished my master's degree in Creative Writing, I started working as an educator. I'm currently focussing on English poetry and writing. Obviously my work do not require me to draw pictures, so I haven't been doing much of that over the last couple of years. It has been about ten years now since I graduated from my first degree in Graphic Design. Since then I haven't done many art projects, and have only drawn on occasion. I didn't realise that my skill have wasted away so dramatically until I started working on this project.

The art exhibit will focus on the so-called "comfort women". These were (Korean and other Asian) women that were kidnapped by Japanese soldiers and kept as sex slaves during WWII. I'm planning five drawings of which two are Japanese soldiers: male nudes holding weapons (a rifle with bayonet and a sword, respectively) in phallic positions. The idea is to associate the phallus as a weapon of war.

I've managed to scribble an okayish first draft of one of the figures, but the second one just keeps alluding me. I'm not getting the proportions right. Even in the above picture the one leg's thigh is too long. The two figures I'm planning are supposed to be positioned on the left and right of another drawing, based on the one below, which will be the central piece, focussing on the Samurai, the most iconic of Japanese symbols.

The other two drawings of the five picture set will be the bloodied flags of Imperial Japan and Korea, positioned above and below the picture above. Or that's the plan. If I can't get my the drawings done within the next few days, I may have to withdraw from the exhibit.

I know I have been neglecting sketching--and art in general, I just haven't realized how much I have neglected it. As the saying goes, if you don't use it, you lose it.

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