Time is short and the art, long…

A question I get asked a lot is, “how long did that take?” I’m not sure why timescales intrigue people so much, perhaps it’s to do with our finite lifespans, but I think it’s probably because we’re so used to the immediacy of photography that we’re fascinated with why someone would spend a long time creating an image that’s just to look at.

It’s a question I rarely ask other people or think about with my own drawings. Minutes, hours or years, it’s just worth doing and I’ve never timed anything, never know what time or day I started or finished, so it’s a question I can’t really answer. I tend to just make up what feels like an adequate amount, I don’t know if they’re impressed by quickly or aeons…

All I can really say is that I posses the oxymoronic qualities of both drawing very slowly and having a short attention span. There are times when I frustrate myself with my approach and there are times when I’m glad of it. When I work slowly, things are more considered, done with care, there’s plenty of thinking time. When I work quickly, there’s energy and immediacy to it. When I stop regularly, things change and evolve as I go along, it’s organic. When I work quickly, I capture a moment, a snapshot of what’s in my head right then.

These skulls all took about half an hour each, I didn’t want to fuss them or make them look like photos, they’re sketchy and imperfect but I like them (except the green one, green biro can go back to whatever hole it crawled out from, goodbye.) But they’re procrastination, Nero fiddling whilst Rome is burning, I’ve got loads of detailed, lengthy drawings that I should be working on, people are waiting and they’ll want to know how long it took…how long is a piece of string? (according to a ten year old I was chatting to recently it’s “probably about 30 centimetres,” I might just use that as my answer in future.)

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