In which Eefje talks about drawing and writing blogposts

For nearly six months I’ve been able to update my blog at least once a week, but suddenly now I find that it’s been over a week since my last post. I don’t know why. It’s not for a lack of things to post about, I have two posts as drafts and an idea for a third. I just wasn’t happy with them yet so I didn’t post them.

Sometimes when I start writing something the words come easy to me, and I like the rythm of the text. Other times, like with one of the posts I had started as a draft the text doesn’t flow at all and as a result it’s very unpleasant to read. I guess that’s normal, but it still feels strange. What makes me suck when I suck and what makes me good when I’m good? I can’t tell.

Compared to other skills I’ve been working on, writing is pretty elusive. In contrast I know exactly why some drawings don’t work yet when I start something new. Lately I’ve been practicing drawing directly in Photoshop. This is a new way of drawing for me, I normally start a picture with pencil and paper and often also finish it with other analog tools. And while I have been colouring scanned sketches in photoshop for a while now, I’m still very much at the beginning of learning how to use that side of the program. So I know why I sometimes suck, it’s a part of the learing curve. When the result is not what I want it’s because I still have to get used to all the new possibilities and how to use my tablet in a way that translates what I want to achieve on my screen. And when I get used to that I will keep running into the limits of my current drawing abilities. I get that. I know my limits and try to push them.

Right now I’m also trying different drawing styles. I’m going for a more comic style because I want to become a diverse illustrator. Adding this to the photoshop learning curve is maybe not so smart (doubly hard!) but it’s interesting. I have to get my brain and hands used to doing something different. When that goes wrong I often end up with kids who have weird adult-sized arms. :p I’ve I’ve got a sketch I like and that has as correct an anatomy as I’m currently capable off, which is nice since it’s an illustration for the next issue of The Anglerfish. 🙂

Yes, this is what I thought adulthood would be, a kind of long indian summer, a state of tranquillity, of calm incuriousness, with nothing left of the barely bearable raw immediacy of childhood, all the things solved that had puzzled me when I was small, all mysteries settled, all questions answered, and the moments dripping away, unnoticed almost, drip by golden drip, towards the final, almost unnoticed, quietus.” – Max, in The Sea by John Banville

When I was a child, I believed that there were things adults just knew, and that I would know them too when I grew up. No effort in learning required. The world doesn’t work that way, gaining knowledge always requires time, effort and inquisitiveness. The feeling of being puzzled, of having questions never really goes away. The secret is that adulthood means only added responsibilities in addition to freedoms that are different than those of a child. It’s a gradual process, one that never really ends.

In other news: Holy longest sentence ever, Banville! And repeating the ‘unnoticed almost’/’almost unnoticed’ is unnecessary and should have been caught by the editor.

Fear and writing

I am afraid to write. I fear that I will fail, that I cannot give shape to the story. That all my idea’s are halves and none will ever be a full story. I write bits and pieces. Tatters. Nothing I commit to words ever feels complete. Writing is what I’ve always wanted to do, what I’ve always loved. Ever since I learned in school I barely did anything else but make up stories and write them down. I don’t know when I started to be afraid. It probably happened at the same age for me as it does for everybody. We all learn to be afraid.

I should probably just start again and see where I end up. I can never get better at writing if I don’t practice. Even if it turns out to be just an other incomplete story.

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