Ambition

-By Jesper Ejsing


Here is a sad confession: Drawing; I suck at it.


These last 2 weeks has been creative hell for me. I always thought things would get easier along the way. I always thought: “One day soon, I will reach a level where I no longer have to think about anatomy or dynamic poses. They will just be obtainable within seconds of sketching . And then I can focus on something else”. I only realise now that this is the fattest lie or thinnest hope of my career as an artist. It NEVER gets any easier. Thing is; it gets harder since my ambition gets higher. I am not content with poses or faces I would have been happy with a year or so ago. Hell, let's be honest. Faces I made 3 weeks ago would not be accepted in the current state of crazy ambition I am in right now. The reason is this female wolf-man I am doing right now. Can you say Female Wolfman? Sounds like the sexually confused of the Underworld. Whatever.

What I am driving at is this: It is hard as hell when you are in it. When you are sketching and sketching and nothing you do has that effect in your brain where it suddenly feels like all the puzzle pieces you have been shuffling around for hours, days ( and in this case ) or even weeks, falls into place. “There, I nailed it!” I have had that feeling four times during these 2 weeks, and when I got back the next day, my enthusiasm had faded to a minimum and I saw every fault there was and lost all fire or lust to even start painting that mediocre sketch in front of me. I have transferred this illustration 3 times to a watercolor paper before abandoning it and going back to scratch. I have had my Art Director approve of three different sketches that I abandoned as soon as they got approved. I have painted a version 2/3 finished before tearing it apart…and all in the name of ambition. I´ll tell you.

Ambition is your own worst enemy. But I think it is the only reason that I haven’t dried out years ago. I am never satisfied. You should never be satisfied. It means there is no place else to go. ( Inside I am shaking my head at myself right now, wishing I had been just a little more satisfied ten days ago ) Did I tell you it is the same little illustration I have been sketching for 14 days now? One figure, minimal background, almost free hands in doing the pose…

I can only hope that this dreaded inability to draw something useful is the face that comes right before an artistic jump. Because this afternoon I nailed the pose! Again.

I will stop writing now and start painting before I can regret anything.

The sketches I have posted are not the ones I am talking about, but since it is World of Warcraft I cannot show it yet. They are instead sketches i think succeded immediately. The one with the gollem was only rejected because it was too violent, not because there was anything wrong with it. The more classic portrait version I remember was done in less than 10 minutes, and came right out of the pencil with nothing to it. ( There must be a way to tap into that state. When I find it I will keep you posted. )

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