Song of the Week

I'm trying out this new thing where I share "Song of the Week" posts. Music has always been an important part of my life and also one of my must-haves for when I'm creating my artwork. I thought I'd share whatever particular songs have helped me get "in the zone" while art making, and also it's always fun in general to talk about good music!

What songs get you in the zone when you want to get creative? Here's one of my top choices ...


SONG OF THE WEEK: "Desperado" by Rihanna

Back when I spent most of my free time choreographing at the Velocity Dance Center (in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle), I would often find myself overthinking every move I came up with. The song let me loosen up, lose the fear of doing a "wrong" move and just go with the flow. Out of that came some of the dance moves I was most proud of that were part of a performance I did sometime last year.

It turns out the song has had a similar effect when it comes to my drawing process. I tend to get too cautious and worry I'm going to do a "wrong" stroke that's going to ruin the whole sketch, and the song (among other songs from the same Rihanna album) has helped me get out of my head, really focus and lose the fear of making mistakes. Besides, awhile ago I had decided to force myself to make any drawing mistakes look like they were done on purpose, so it all seems to be working out so far. :)

Dance the Night Away

Originally posted on August 26, 2016.

Last night, I decided to divert a bit from my usual style of portrait drawing. Instead of zooming in on and making sure to carve every facial feature of a woman's face, I focused on drawing the whole body. I also told myself not to spend more than five minutes on each piece. And, of course, I only drew dancers. :)

In case you didn't already know, I. Love. Dance. I've also always been fascinated in general by the human figure, whether I'm watching someone perform a modern dance piece or catching sight of a Bernini sculpture, dramatic movement and muscle and all. Thus, even though I didn't spend that much time on the above pieces, I put most of my energy into detailing the dancers' muscle tones. I wanted to accentuate the power and contagious energy that a person can carry within them, which shows through movement, especially dance.

Dancer

Originally posted on June 21, 2016.

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The above photo is my latest work. It's the first time maybe in years that I've used charcoal and oil pastel in a single piece. Oh, and I have my adorable 7-year-old cousin to thank for generously lending me his oil pastel set. He's an angel. :)

As per usual, I had grabbed a picture that caught my eye after typing something along the lines of "portrait photography" in Google search. But, this time I chose to draw a figure instead of a face. Also, I decide to create a portrait of a woman facing away from the viewer rather than toward the viewer. I was generally faithful to the original photo of the dancer ... except for the fact that I completely removed her dance partner. I wanted the woman to be alone to give the piece an air of solitude -- not in a negative way, but in the sense of one facing inward, toward your own thoughts instead of focusing on all things outside yourself. Basically, I wanted to focus on the internal versus the external. I partly chose to think this way while drawing because generally I see dance as a profound way of expressing oneself, of deciding who you want to be and how to portray that through movement.

Do you modify original images as you draw or paint? If so, to what degree? What things inspire you to do this?