“Try to have a little more control”

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately purging – getting rid of a lot of stuff I don’t need any longer. I came across a portfolio of architectural drawings that I had made during my days as an architectural student at Syracuse University. Stuck inside the portfolio were graded copies of the drawings with remarks from the professor. The comments were consistent and repeatedly pointed out Gail's college architural renderingsmy lack of “control”.

“Try to have a little more control!”

“Without control of lines and line quality, solution is lost!”

Back then I used a rapidograph (technical pen) for rendering these drawings. Unlike a lot of my fellow architectural students, I had very little training in the way of art classes before coming to Syracuse and my skills as an artist were terrible. Drawing fine straight lines with a rapidograph was my downfall. The ink would blotch or would seep under the ruler or triangle that I was using and my drawing would usually end up being a big mess.

I think my lack of “control” as an artist ultimately turned me away from pursuing architecture as a career. Instead, I changed my path and pursued a career in photography. Today, architectural students use CAD for their drawings and I would imagine that perfecting one’s skill with a rapidograph is no longer a requirement.

I wonder if things would have been different as far as the path I chose, if I had the tools available to me, that we have today? It’s an interesting question to ponder, but ultimately I don’t think I was well suited for a career in architecture and it went beyond the fact that I had poor drafting skills. I was a “big picture” thinker and not focused on the details.

Fundamentally, I haven’t changed. I’m still a big picture thinker. I am able to clearly visualize, my creation or project as a “whole” and know usually know what I need to do to achieve that end, but in determination to finish, I sometimes overlook the details. I’ve trained myself over the years, to not be in such a rush to complete something, that I compromise the quality. I’ve also accepted the person I am – what I’m good at and what I’m not so good at and found that I’ve produced my most gratifying work in collaboration with others.

I will always be a big picture thinker – the bigger the idea and the more possibilities – the more I love it. I have learned to have more control, but I still love to color outside the lines and push the boundaries.


Grow or Die

I’m borrowing the title from Ian Summers, a creative coach and visionary. Through personal sessions with Ian as well as from his writings, I’ve learned that there is joy in any exploration, especially the exploration of the creative self. Ian expresses what he does more beautifully on his blog: Heartstorming

“ I co-create an environment where people are safe to bring what they love and what matters to come into being by being a compassionate teacher and expressive painter.”

There is so much to learn simply because it’s such an amazing age we live in. I try to take advantage of that and embrace new skills and knowledge to further my creative self. Learning and exploration is a necessary ingredient in my life. It stimulates me, it brings me wonder and joy and it empowers me. The more I learn, the more I grow, and the more the universe opens to me and sets my creative spirit free to be the one I am meant to be. Learning is happiness.

Here are some links to some wonderful sources for learning – some technical and some inspirational – but all valuable in their own way.

To start with don’t miss Selina Maitreya’s Clarion Call 2011, a free 2-day professional photography telesummit.
I’ll be on at 10AM Friday, Feb. 11th.

If you’d rather have the benefit of networking face to face with your peers then sign up for ASMP’s Strictly Business 3
Next one coming up is in Philadelphia Feb. 25-27, 2011.

Here’s a few a my favorite links to continued learning:

Video Vimeo School – Tutorials, articles
Creative Cow – Tutorials, forums, articles
2 Pop – Forum, articles
Ken Stone –Tutorials video

If you have any real or virtual places that you frequent to learn, please feel free to share.

The key of course to learning is to apply the knowledge that you’ve learned. So be ready to grow when you set out on your explorations of learning. Embrace that thought and ready your mind to be open and receptive to new ideas and ways of seeing.

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