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To Impress or Express

How wonderful it is to start with a blank paper and see something slowly arising? Something you are creating.

All my life I have been drawing and painting every now and then. I wish I could say that it was the most natural way for me to let my creative mind flow and to express my feelings at all times, but often it was because I felt like I should use and show the skills that I have.

Something that I created was supposed to be the best way it could be. Erasing, drawing again, erasing, drawing again, and then realizing the first drawing was the best after all. After some crushed papers, scratched lines, and angrily broken pencils, I would eventually have created a piece that I found acceptable enough to show others. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy creating art, but it was mostly accompanied by this pressure of having to show others what I created.

A while ago I made some drawings with an ink pen. There is no way back with an ink pen. Once the ink touches the paper, it will stay there. And that’s okay, because I am the one who makes it touch the paper where I want it to. Although this might sound like it would increase the feeling of pressure, this act of drawing with a pen made me feel confident and relaxed.

I didn’t have to decide after each line whether I would erase it, because that was not possible anyways. I was drawing because I wanted to, not because I felt the need to show people what I could do.

When I look back to several of my artworks, I would not say that the ones that were made focusing on the audience, who would hopefully admire them, are less good than the ones that were made focusing solely on the process.

However, the latter do give me more of a content feeling. Because they were not made to impress, they were made to express.

By: Nienke Stokkermans


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