If you want to be successful in any form of art, you need to practise it regularly in order to hone up your skill. Otherwise, any gap in your practice would slide you back and erase whatever little progress you had made. This way you would find yourself forever beginning from scratch and never making any considerable progress. But easier said than done. If you are an artist, you would know that making a piece of art is easy when you are in mood or it is your hobby, but it loses its charm when you have to perform on demand. And here the demand is ‘regular practice’. Sometimes you do have the will and discipline to get up and sit at your working table, but have no idea where to start — what to draw and how to start with it. Note that here the first stroke is the most difficult step, for once you have overcome that hurdle, then the art would by itself pull you into it. Thereafter it becomes easy. But the first step — the artist’s block as it is called — is the most difficult phase. If you ask me, personally I do not consider it to be any issue. While sketching, I start drawing whatever object is lying in front of me.
Every artist has a personal way to overcome artist’s block. Yet there are others who don’t have any idea on how to handle it. In this line, the book 301 Things To Draw offers 301 suggestions on ‘what to draw’. The way this book has been compiled, I am not sure what purpose does it serve. The book is made up of blank pages, with one suggestion per page on what to draw. For example, you would find ‘Sunrise or Sunset’ or may be ‘Guitar’ or ‘Book’ written on top of a blank page, and perhaps you are supposed to draw accordingly. I am not able to appreciate the purpose of such a book. They could have simply written out the complete list of suggestions on a pamphlet. Anyone who aspires to be an artist must already be in possession of art materials, including paper. Secondly, the suggestions given herein cannot be considered extraordinary. After all, my own trick which I mentioned in the previous paragraph is also included in this book as item number 15 viz., something in front of you. Personally I believe that this one suggestion is good enough for any aspiring artist.
There is another problem which the compilers of this book failed to appreciate. The artist’s block is not simply about ‘what to draw’; instead for a major part, it is about ‘where to start’. And here the compilers of the book seem to underestimate the seriousness of artist’s block and misinterpret it all the same. All artists possess imagination. Without any faculty of imagination, one cannot be an artist or a writer or a scientist. It is as simple as that. So I do not see any point in suggesting any artist what to draw, at least in the context of artist’s block. They require solid and workable suggestions on ‘how’ to handle the block — how to draw the first line. This is all I can say about this book. Here I seem to be facing writer’s block!
Title: 301 Things To Draw
Publisher: Quarto Publishing Group – Chartwell Books
Print Length: 204 pages
What does it mean?