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Do it For the Process! Why Abstract Art?

Journal Entry: Thu May 5, 2016, 1:14 AM
Many people have wondered why I tend to create more abstract works these days. In the following, I want to share my thoughts on the matter with you :)

What I like the most about abstract works is that there is now right or wrong. If I feel like working with a green, I work with green. If I feel like working with a certain pattern, I work with it. The creation process is more about feelings and composition. The only things I wonder about during the process is "do I want color X in this?" or "do I want a pattern or line in this spot?". No one can judge whether one part of a work is properly executed or not.


In comparison with realistic pencil works (to only name one example), I don't have to find a reference first or have to put long thoughts on how to alter the reference in order to make it my own piece. This actually bothered me a lot in the past couple of years. I do own a camera that takes high quality photos, however, finding photos that made me think "Oh, I want to draw this right now" has become much harder for me. I've usually found inspiration in other people's works, but taking a reference from somebody else (with their permission of course) made me feel like my drawing/painting was never fully my own. Since I loved (and probably still do love) drawing portraits, working without a reference was not working for me. 

Furthermore, I was never really satisfied with my works if they did not fully look like the reference. On the one hand I told myself "hey, it doesn't need to look like the reference" but on the other hand I somehow wanted it to look like the reference to prove myself that I had enough skills to copy a photo. I guess I also wanted to show other people what I was able to do with pencils or other media.

What this all adds up to is the fact that the process of creating abstract works is much more enjoyable for me now. I've noticed that I tend to spend a lot more time with art and art creation as well. When I came back home from a long day at University, I never thought "Oh, I really want to draw a realistic 12 hour pencil portrait now". Abstracts and ink works do not take up a long to make, but the process is much more careless for me. I sometimes even take pre-painted watercolor pieces with me to University and then draw on them with ink pens during class, which is so refreshing. Before, I always thought that I needed all my tools and my desk ready in order to create something. Now I just carry watercolor sheets with me and if I feel like drawing, I draw- even if it's on a bus or train. I also have my little watercolor palette with me sometimes. I now paint or draw more for the process than for the product. 

This all doesn't mean that I will never draw or paint non-abstract works again though :)
My love for portrait art hasn't dwindled, I just don't feel like drawing/painting them at the moment. I understand if watchers of this page expect more realistic portrait works, it's totally fine. Creating for myself and my own sanity is simply the most important thing for me now. There is no better stress release than to express feelings through arts- and art should make you happy, not worried. I feel like I'm currently in peace with it <3

Do it for the process!
:) :hug:

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:iconesayelemay:
esayelemay Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016   Traditional Artist
I totally agree!
I used to always readily defend photorealistic drawings to my art teacher in college because she just didn't get the point of it, but now in my second year of studying Fine Art at university, I haven't done a realistic portrait for years. Like you, I still have a love for it, of course I do, I enjoyed it for years, but like you said, it is limiting. It can sometimes also be stressful trying to copy a reference photo exactly, because if you mess up one part of it, the whole drawing doesn't feel right. I think they can be a good way to see how skilled you are in terms of copying, but there's only so much creativity you can add to those kinds of drawings. When you find work where you feel completely relaxed doing it and can immerse yourself in the joy of creating, it's a lovely feeling :)
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:iconisabellemaria:
IsabelleMaria Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Exactly. I haven't done realistic works in a couple of months and it feels great. Like I finally got rid of a burden. It feels like I am just now starting to develop a very different relationship with art.
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:iconesayelemay:
esayelemay Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2016   Traditional Artist
Aww, I'm glad to hear! :) Art is quite a journey
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:iconaroco:
Aroco Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderfully expressed! Clap 
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:iconpavee12120:
pavee12120 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've never thought about doing abstract art actually - well written opinion :) makes me want to try abstract art. 
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:iconisabellemaria:
IsabelleMaria Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sure, you've got nothing to lose :) It may take a little while to find your desired style but doing abstract art is great nonetheless :)
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:iconjettiehier:
JettieHier Featured By Owner May 11, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Couldn't agree more with this, although I don't display my abstracts, they keep me busy, inspired and I learn!!
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:iconisabellemaria:
IsabelleMaria Featured By Owner May 11, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I learn a lot from them as well :) Thanks for commenting!
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:iconquantum-optic:
Quantum-Optic Featured By Owner May 5, 2016   General Artist
strange, I was just thinking about this very thing earlier today, and how historically artists started going more towards impressionistic/expressionistic art rather than still life, being skilled enough to draw or paint something exactly the way it looks in real life is pretty amazing, but once the novelty of 'photo realism' wears off it really isn't that creative if you think about it,
creativity happens when one is able to make or portray something that didn't exist before(creating), rather than replicating something that already did (copying),
also it seems when one does something out of enjoyment and expression they tend to be more creative and original,
art is about creativity, expression, and freedom,
when we make something that does not exist in our world, or modify something to be different than what it was,
we mentally free ourselves from the limits of our current reality,
and that is when we invent.
to limit freedom is to limit creativity, and to limit creativity is to limit progress
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:iconpearwood:
pearwood Featured By Owner May 5, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
Sounds like me and my Holga Pinhole Camera.
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:iconjski363:
jski363 Featured By Owner May 5, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Very impressive and we'll presented...your thoughts were presented with much consideration as to what your doing... I'm impressed with that fact that this is refreshing to know how one feels and that your very secure in what you doing. ..
Thank you for expressing a part of your world... Respectfully Charlie
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