Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Drawing in no time.

I wanted to tell you about something that just happened to me. Well, it's something that has happened to me most of my drawing life.

I was just in the studio drawing, which I do for hours and hours every day. No surprise there. But this was different in that I hit a point where I wasn't aware that I was drawing.

This happens, and has happened, fairly often. I'm not thinking about the work, not aware of anything around me, even the passage of time. I can't explain it. Suddenly something will hit me and make me aware of the actual act of drawing. Just now it was my pencil. Suddenly I was aware of watching the point of the pencil move across the paper. But it was as if I was watching some one, or some thing, else move it. Or as if I was watching a bug walking across the ground. Like I was watching something outside of myself.

Then my brain processed that it was indeed my hand moving the pencil, and I gave a kind of start. As if shocked that I'd been drawing. Drawing without the awareness of drawing can be a little unnerving.

I've always zoned out like this in the past, spending hours trying to work out a drawing, but lately it's different. I'm still zoning out, but now it's deeper. Like breathing, I'm not aware of the act at all. Maybe that part comes with mileage? Maybe the hands just learn to move without the brain to slow it them down? I don't know.

Sometimes this happens and I sit there then suddenly startle because it feels like the table or chair are moving, when they're not. Or that I'm falling. I guess the best comparison I can make is when you're dreaming and become aware that you're dreaming and start to wake up. It feels like that.

But being in the actual "zone" is a great thing. Not being aware of drawing, or anything else, you're also not aware of frustrations and shortcomings. The page feels like it's a mile wide, and you can draw forever and everything just... works.

That ever happen to you?


PS - Before one of you jokers askes, NO I wasn't high! I've never done drugs. Christ, look how weird I am now! Drugs would just make me a raving lunatic! ;-)


ZZ said...

No, but I am envious. I'm having trouble making drawing a habit let alone an out-of-body experience. :P

Mike Hawthorne said...

Just keep at it, dude. You'll get there ;-)


Russell Dickerson said...

It happens once in awhile to me, when I'm just "in" the art. There's no other part of the world, just me and the pen (digital or otherwise). An hour might go by even. Then I kind of hit a moment and come back, and it's like the world catches up with me. I live for those moments, and I hope I can better at art and feel them more.

Unknown said...

this happened to me when i was in high school when i drew a then girlfriend

Unknown said...

thats the day i know i love doing art in 1997

Daniel Hardesty said...

Oh yeah, this has totally happened to me. Sometimes it almost feels like I'm getting further and further away from the page or canvas, kind of floating higher above it, but my arms are staying connected to the page. Almost as if my arms are getting longer and longer! LOL!

Sounds weird, I know, but I have experienced this and it's pretty cool. Sometimes it happens when I'm really into a book too. So, you're not crazy my friend. Enjoy! ;)

Mike Hawthorne said...

Yeah, you're right... it is kinda like loosing yourself in a book I guess.

Thanks everyone!


Mike D. said...

You were in the athletes get while in the middle of playing. You have such a professional skill and style that your brilliant mind goes right into brilliant mode. There have been times when I was in the zone while playing sports and it seemed like everyone else was in slomo.
I scored goals and put that puck right between the goalies stick and glove because I saw the window.
Then once while playing nose tackle they put this monster of a man 400 lbs 6'6" in front of me...I'm 5'8" 300....I man handled the mook with speed and moves he got all flustered and quit and left the game. We won the championship that day. ( It was the fourth game of the day )Later I discoved I broke my foot blocking the big basterd. But you are a CHAMP MIKE! ONly a CHAMP knows what the zone is.

Mike Hawthorne said...

Wow, dude! You flatter me! Thank you! :-)