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Linear Digression

I've been thinking about drawing styles - Yesterdayのrandom encounter: Elise, who grimaced at my sketches and then sketched me (above). Impression: Many different kinds of drawing. Her advice : not spend much time on individual sketches yet - draw plenty of them quickly, discard them, move on. Separate drawing styles people seem to use:

  • Sketch - lots of small lines with little individual meaning, they come together to provide everything from shapes to shades. Individual "bad" lines get blended together by the eye into coherent shape (rely more on the brain than reality?). Paintings are a logical descendent of this style?
  • Container - Sharp lines delimit objects, colours and textures are placed inside that.
    • Comic - Caricatures of objects and people, partial symbolism of features of an object (this represents a mouth, a nose, a car, rather than resembles one)
  • Implied - I recently saw a flier for a talk that I missed exploring some classical Japanese art based around providing maximal meaning per-line, rely very strongly on the brain to complete large parts of objects. I am very impressed when I see this kind of thing
Pondering comics as drawing for some kind of a conceptual later stage of visual processing, uncanny valley is when one nears the threshold between real-world parsing and later parsing? Border between comics and other forms of figures is particularly intersting. How much do people need to choose a style when they start, and what skills transfer between them?

Style of thought: hypercognitive, when trying to "get something done" find ways to concentrate lots of attention, judgement, and potential for nuance into a small area. Use body of lore and introspection to continually temper that approach. Have plenty of reminders to self to step back and reevaluate in every part of this tradition. Consider this style of thought a sprint.

Otherwise: think very spread out, gather information, let mind loosely pass over everything and accumulate knowledge needed to model it - people, places, things - combine everything under the sun in a slow integrative churn, pick out anything that looks interesting, amusing, relevant.

The first mode of thought is what I have been trying to use for drawing. This is probably not appropriate. One of the few conversations I had with Mattus was rather surprising to me - he spotted something in me over quite a long time of passive observation (I wasn't close with many CMUfolk, although less reclusive than today) and while playing frisbee he remarked that I treat my body like a puppet and control it too much, suggesting that by analogy this is just part of how I think. I think this is true - most of how I live in meatspace derives from old ways of manipulating perception and faking being someone I was not, aged decades and isolated from the original purposes for that. I wonder if a new state of mind is necessary for art - transitioning tasks from being highly conscious to being semi-automated is not particularly easy. Perhaps it would require learning some intermediate state of "chill"-ness.

Roger Ebert's "Go gentle into that good night" (another post in his wonderful blog) is rather spiritual by my tastes (in the sense of "I feel it vaguely offends my dignity to be a construct in a physical world and long for things out of the reach of science"), but it's interesting.

Capsacin makes me *very* hungry, mitigating the lack of appetite I've had for the last few weeks.

Holding up both ends of a conversation: ...