In 2008, when I was still in school, I had this project with Location Drawing Class (professor Carol Fabricatore), which I had to come up with a location I’d like to explore and be there and draw it for a whole semester, and make a book. We were not allowed to draw it from pictures.
I came up with an idea of drawing an animal shelter, simply because I love animals like most of people do. I got a recommendation letter from Carol, and contacted ASPCA which is located in Upper East Side of Manhattan. People were nice, and they let me do as much as I can for every wednesday. It was a little far away from then my apartment in Brooklyn, and hard to commute from school located in Chelsea, but I was full with excitements as if I was in some sort of special mission or in a project. Everything has moved fast, and nothing stayed still. Especially animals. Drawing mechanical part was a easy side. It was out of controls. In the end, Carol gave me a nice feed back, and I still owe her until these days, for discovering this joy of drawing things without thinking much, while with little pieces of conscious minds.
Some people look at this drawing and say “So, you know how to draw”. Maybe because my usual style is very childlike? (Black ink definitely helps the work to look more serious and adult-like, in my opinion) In fact, I am afraid of black color. I also think as being an artist, I felt I should be responsible for choosing every single color. Every colors I choose, even the very first dot I put on paper. Black graphite on white papers meant I was lazy. There are millions of colors existing in world, and I often thought, I should be creating some new kind of color combination. More correctly, I am afraid of letting the black color remain on the paper as it is.
If this makes sense, that lead me to have hard time, to put the dark bold color on to images I am making. It often causes problems in the process of making works. Some people think I am good with colors, but in fact, I struggle every time I make something until I get the final art work. I sometimes have 10 different color versions for one work, and it still doesn’t quite look finished. Then, suddenly, in the end I realize - I always do - it’s just just a lack of darkness. I put some black-ish color, then suddenly it’s done.
Back to the location drawings, perhaps the best thing I’ve learned from the project was, again, discovering the ‘joy of drawing things without thinking much’. Black ink didn’t scare me, because that’s the only color I brought. Now 4 years passed by, I finally begun to think, maybe I should let this idea go – the idea of black and white is the laziness, and I should paint over it all the time. Without black and white, the image doesn’t look finished anyway.
(ps - I also don’t like drawing realistically, with a similar reason I didn’t like to use black color. I think I should let it go, too.)