I am a total perfectionist when it comes to my art. (Chris thinks that’s why it takes me so long to cut his hair, haha!) Especially when it comes to rendering, I tend to go for realistic. This is great when you’re learning and working on your technique, but I think it takes away from the artwork’s potential.
I am always drawn to the “imperfect” pieces in the art world over the photo-realistic. Yes, of course I’m impressed by photorealism. But with so many artists possessing the talent to render perfectly, I’m much more connected with art that shows personality. Brush strokes, leftover pencil marks, and (what!?) coloring outside the lines are engaging to me!
When I went to art school, I was confident in my drawing skills and thought that was enough to be considered a “good artist”. On the first day of class the teacher explained the importance of concept.. even over technique. He went as far as saying that doing extremely well in your technique is not good enough to get you noticed anymore. It took me about a year to actually agree with him! I realized that in just my tiny art school alone there were 40 other students who could draw a still life just as well or better than I could.
Now, hanging in my studio, are a few paintings from school. None of them are perfectly rendered, all of them are full of life and personality in the brush strokes and dripping paint. They are the paintings that I am most proud of! They represent the moments that the lightbulb finally turned on.
My encouragement to you: give this imperfection thing a try! Use pen instead of pencil in your next quick sketch. I tried this recently (see my quick sketch) after seeing taylor’s drawing and I’m addicted. You’ll be amazed how quickly the fear of messing up goes away and you start to love the movement and life that is left when you can’t make everything so perfect!