I can’t compare drawing to any other activity. There is that moment when the drawing doesn’t exist, it’s just a piece of blank paper, meaningless. You have some image in your head and you start laying down lines, very fast. There is no thought involve, it is physical and emotional, at this point the mental processes are far away in the background. It happens fast, and it’s kind of scary and thrilling because it always seems to be coming apart, failing…will it or won’t it ? – you are hoping for the big reveal at the end but when you start out you never know if you will succeed or not, it feels as if you are taking a risk, holding your breath and hoping for the best.
You take a look at it and know in an instant if it works or not….then scan it and it’s done. An hour later you go back to it and have no recollection AT ALL of any of it taking place… you only start to discover it then, after the fact… it’s strange – as if someone else had done it and given it to you.
Every drawing I have every done, I can remember where I was and the emotion behind it but I don’t remember actually doing it. The lines seem alien to me when I look back at old drawings, I don’t recognise them. Because while I was drawing it I was just… gone… somewhere else… Time and space are meaningless in these moments.
For people who don’t draw the only comparison I can make is those moments when you are making love and you just completely lose yourself (ideally you both completely lose yourselves), that moment of union when neither of you are yourselves any more. You’ve transcended the mind, the self, and become one. But I’m not talking about the physical sensation here, just the mental place.
That’s what drawing can be like (at it’s best). You become one, not with another person, but with something else, something I can’t describe – and perhaps I can’t describe it because it is unknowable.
Which is why I keep doing it, because I don’t know what’s out there. I don’t know what’s next. To the viewer I may be drawing the same character or subject over and over but, for me, every drawing is starting again from scratch. I really never know a thing and I never assume I’ll ever do a good drawing again. I am always surprised, I am always at the beginning, where everything is wonder, possibility… or disaster. It’s just infinite.
I don’t ask much from my day to day life – just a limitless sense of the infinite.