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Fig Leaf Ink

Fig Leaf Ink

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Made in Amsterdam 2023 on 29x29cm, 185grams paper

About this drawing.
Ever since I can remember I’ve made drawings in my sketchbooks. Recently I have been breaking down my internal borders and discovering a new sense of freedom creatively. 
You might think that it’s easy for me to make things, but actually that’s not case. In fact, I can be self critical, a perfectionist a pleaser and an over-thinker. These traits make it difficult to ‘just make and have fun with it’.

I visit a lot of gallery- & museum openings each year and pay close attention to what I see other artists make and how something is made. Although most museum security doesn’t like it so much, I love getting up close and inspecting what techniques are used on artworks. haha. I watch documentaries about art, buy books on it and frequently visit studios of my peers. It fills my mind and inspires me, it can also work against me.

 When I am making things it’s common for my mind to go: “Is that good enough?”, “Shouldn’t you make it more like this or like that”, “People will say that it’s uninteresting, or they just won’t get it at all and I won’t be able to explain it”. These thoughts can stagnate my creative process, keep me from even starting and not wanna produce anything for a while. Or I procrastinate with all kinds of side tasks like fixing things in the house and organising emails and to do lists but not actually making anything.

The challenge is to stay creative, to move with it all and embrace the thoughts, feelings, ideas and stay in the flow. And when falling out of it, reconnect and go again. I read this book by James Clear and it contains a story about a group of photography students. The group gets split in two: one group needs to take as many photo’s, the other needs to take the perfect picture. After a month they review the pictures all together.

It turned out that the first group made tons of shitty pics but also some brilliant photos, real gems. The second group had hardly produced anything and whatever did come out was pretty mediocre. This second group had been trying so hard to think about the perfect picture that it had stopped them from actually getting creative. Meanwhile the first group just went on and on and played and improved by doing.

I took this story to heart and perhaps it helps you too. I’ve allowed myself to create whatever I felt I wanted to make. The outcome was around 200 drawings. Out of those I I selected the ones I liked best.

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