Atanas Laskov

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Notes On Drawing And Writing

June 30, 2019 5:56 pm

There are 6 ways to fail a figure drawing: Gesture fail (no emotion), Proportions fail (can't measure), Structure fail (flatness), Anatomy fail (no knowledge), Tone fail (another type of flatness), and Colour fail. Failure in each stage destroys all the subsequent stages.

And what if you decided to give a gift to other people? It’s far from your mind. You think that artwork is your own essence. This is how far you can see – no farther than the tip of your own nose.

The less you “express” yourself, the less your artwork is yourself, and the more it is part of the world around you, the better. What is inside you? Bones, and blood, and other unpleasant things. Hardly the subject matter of artwork.

You love something and you treasure it. But the thing you treasure most becomes the most worthless, because a treasure only gathers dust. Therefore, don’t treasure your artwork or anything you love. It’s far better to be careless about it. In fact, it is imperative that you should be careless about it.

Thinking yourself a Wiseman, you throw away worthless things and keep the lovely things in your most secret treasure chest. It seems the Wiseman is also the fool. Humans are short-lived creatures. You have very little time for foolishness.

Foolish cowardice makes things hard; Ill feelings and fears tarnish the pleasant. Joy is yours for the taking. The brave man chooses joy over exhaustion. Likewise, joy chooses him.

There should be no fear to work, no fear to believe, as everything else is weakness and meaninglessness.

It's uncertain if heaven exists. But you will pass through hell as many times as it is necessary for the completion of what must be achieved. Protect your artwork to your last drop of sweat and blood, and beyond that. You are ready to sacrifice everything, endure pain. But when you sacrifice your own light, a sacrifice including your own heart – it is too much; It is self-defeating action of madness.

Beside you and inside you, whatever there is, there is. Like the fire consuming wood, you make it your own subject matter, it all becomes work. To do your work, using your best talents, giving it your best philosophy. What more is there?

Do the best for your work by any tool; by any momentary opportunity; by any good aid; by any practical means. There are no absolute solutions.

If you are fatigued in creativity, this is the mistake of dishonesty. Your full thing is tireless. Let it be enjoyment, your way of life, your full thing in everything. Have fun, foolish man, because if you don’t you are predestined for all the ills and fatigues.

If on a day you have made no progress, or very little, but feel tired, exhausted – You have wasted yourself feeling small emotions, thinking small things. Such things are like leeches; And they are countless; And they are nothing to you.

If you are in a serious mood, you are in serious error. Many things in this world are deadly but nothing is serious except a fool.

When you study and create exactly what you want, your soul is focused and you are strong. When you go tangentially, your soul is divided and you are made weak.

It is the duty of the artist to create conditions suitable for artwork. It is the duty of the artist to ensure he has sufficient income. It is the duty of the artist to ensure he has sufficient free time at disposal.

Nightmares are the best of you, why do you whine? You are my dreams; I have dreamed you into reality. Artwork is the bringing to reality of dreams.

Allow your subconscious ideas to talk as you write, concealing them too. Who else can write?

Writing is reading; a writer must read ten times more than he produces. Read Stephen King's "On Writing" for proof.

You want to capture bits of essence in your artwork. You want to capture bits of ideas in your text; And capture them well, nourishing them after that, to reveal the full story. You want to be passionate; persuasive; seductive; You don’t want to be realist, tedious, father of lies, maker of false reality.

Your objective is to create GNs and make money. It is as simple as that. But creativity is hard by definition. You have chosen for yourself this way, the way of battle; of meaning; of love. Bring passion for the few truly important things to the level of obsession. This quote by Frank Herbert: “Only a fool would not give his best, at any given time, to whatever he is creating.”

Get angry to increase your output; But steady your flames. This quote by Steve Wozniak: “Create and learn steadily; Preserve health; Minimize stress; Resist interrupts; Don’t resist sleep.” Also, the lantern metaphor by Leonardo - Greedy to consume a shiny candle the unsteady flame left the furnace, and after voraciously devouring the candle, it turned into foul smoke.

Drawing and illustration are sports. But there is also essence there if you put love even in your smaller creative actions. Become good for a good reason. Unite power to defend and meaning.

An artist who doesn’t observe the world directly will echo the past and will find falsehood.

Books will be games from now on. Games will be books. Books can no longer be separated from technology.

In Renaissance times there was no music background to paint to, no digital players, and it’s unlikely there was live music in art studios, yet somehow they painted great things. Listening to music as you illustrate, you are really illustrating the music not yourself. There is some use in that but the real thing (and real joy of it) happens in silence.

Long, uninterrupted, peaceful and quiet periods of work – this is required for all good creative results. And whatever other activities you have, whatever other intentions – that basic need exists. You need this time for creative seedlings. It is your primary creative necessity.

The “bulk” of dirty work is surprisingly harder compared to the seedling. The slower you work the more you put your work in danger. That is why the “bulk of the bulk” must be completed in isolated focus. Only when a project reaches near completion it is feasible to work in limited time intervals.

When creating, voicing aloud your ideas, and in a language you are learning or has importance to you, is beneficial in two ways. First it helps with creativity, and second it also helps with language learning.

Life drawing (sketching and painting) is concentration on the object. Remember this and treat it just like seated meditation.

Part of the good form of artwork is durability. All things perish, but if a thing perishes quickly it has no time to make impact.

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© 2019 Atanas Laskov

Atanas Laskov