I suck something new and that's awesome

31 March 2018

Last year I picked up sculpting on a whim (putting it very mildly here). I bought about 2 kilos of clay (water-based, what you can imagine playing in as a kid) and some random wire for armature, and then got to work. Pictured the goal in my head. Found some good reference art. Created a skeleton out of wire and started shaping out my figure in clay. All of it without too much preparation or thought.

I didn’t end up with much at all. About two or three 30cm tall statuettes that would be impossible to bake due to the materials used. Cracked all over, as I didn’t take care of them overnight. What I did end up with showed some promise though: good composition, subject, and motion. But there were a lot of mistakes I started noticing while still working on the same piece: looking good only from one angle, “boxy” limbs and heads. Unfixable problems due to the naive way I constructed my armature.

But what amazes me the most is the raw satisfaction and fun I had. I usually write or practice photography, and I have been frustrated with both for different reasons.

Writing has always been about direct personal experience for me, as I can’t seem to tap into the right kind of creativity to write fiction, nor do I have the discipline to create decent think-pieces. Since I need personal experiences, I’m bottlenecked by the ones I have, even more so as I have become pickier about the things I want to write about. So unless I can satisfy myself with writing once a year, or change my lifestyle to o

Photography has become rote. Virtually all the photo’s I publish are the result of recognizing potential in a few pictures out of hundreds, and editing them to a quite simple aesthetic I’ve developed a while ago. Most of it is landscape, and I’ve never really attempted portraiture. Even though they’re very well received, there’s really not that much intent to it.

In both writing and photography, I really should buckle down and deliberately practice outside of my comfort zone. It would be a shame to just keep running in place. On the other hand, I’m really enjoying sculpting. I’ve been doing a lot more of it, and did my homework. And I’m coming to realize that I have a lot less aptitude for it than for the other things I do, apart from perhaps the skills that carry over. But I’m starting to doubt whether it matters. I do want to take it more serious, and finalize some ideas/works that I’ve started. I wish I could follow a course, but I can’t seem to find a suitable one. Time to put in a lot more deliberate practice. Watch this space :)