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Phil’s Rants #2:
I grew up being perfectionistic. I believed that only by being ever vigilant and brutally critical, would I make good work. Drawing captured me because it helped me challenge and ultimately demolish that perfectionism. The way one masters drawing is by drawing, simple as that. In the beginning one is unavoidably clumsy just as we were when we were learning to speak or walk. As we practice, we accumulate an experience base that allows us to accomplish more. The growth is slow and messy, with steps backwards and sideways as well as forward, but as the experience base expands so does our ability. The amount of practice is what ultimately matters. Good days, bad days…doesn’t matter. What matters is lots of accumulated days. Thus anything that decreases your willingness to work and hence your volume of work, has to be challenged. When students are looking disparagingly at their efforts, I say “that time would be far better spent making more bad drawings”. Good drawings, bad drawings, they both contribute to our growth as a drawer. Not drawing doesn’t.

(A draft copy of Phil’s book, Introduction to Drawing, is available for $15 per copy.)

The Drawing Studio—Essays/rants

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