The process… and video games.


Doing anything worthwhile is hard. Whether it’s raising a family or creating art, nothing gets done without the effort of doing.

As a young person I remember the inward groan when forced to ‘stick with the task’ (usually cleaning up my room). After a semi-enthusiastic start, there would inevitably be a point, probably about ten minutes into the job, as I stood back to assess what I had achieved thus far, when the enormity of the task would overwhelm me as I realised I was going to be stuck in my room probably the rest of the day. My solution was often to lose myself in day-dreams inspired by the things I picked up, so that time would disappear, leaving the job to be wrestled over again the next day.

But many times I would be forced back to reality and the task at hand by my incredibly patient mother as she firmly insisted that I ‘get on with it’. Looking back now I can see how valuable those small lessons were. Realising (resentfully) that there were no magic wands like in the story books, I had to accept that there was no other way to get it done than to ‘GET IT DONE!’ as my mother would firmly tell me, although she rarely raised her voice. I need to remind myself of these experiences when dealing with my own children. In story books or video games all the action is mental. In some games there may be tedious actions to be repeated to reach a goal, but as far as I can tell from overhearing my kids game-talk, there was usually a ‘cheat’ way around to speed up the tedium.

Drawing is something I have always found to be a bit tedious. I am impatient for results. But there is no shortcut to good drawing, and I have learned that the important thing about drawing is not so much the drawing itself or what it looks like, but what is learned from the doing of it.

In making art, process is everything.. Going through motions of doing, making, experimenting is important, especially when one feels uninspired and empty. At these times inertia would pin us to the lounge, or perhaps even generate uncharacteristic enthusiasm for housework or exercise. But eventually one must return to the studio and start!

I have just come out of a period of incredible enthusiasm for house renovations, aka procrastination. I am eager to get back into some artistic creativity but I am unsure where to start. I have enrolled into a Photoshop digital imaging class online (another bit of procrastination, as I am delaying commencing my final-year major work units). After my first week in the Photoshop class I am having a ball and find it no task at all to spend time playing with different techniques for creating new visual effects. I am not sure how useful it will be in developing ideas for my major work, but I am having fun. Maybe it will prove to be a good compromise between the hard work of drawing, and the tricks and cheats of the video games my kids played. There are so many neat tools and shortcuts, and you get instant results!

Here are a couple of my first Photoshop images…