I discovered automatic drawing around Christmas time in 2018. Can’t say I had a clear idea how useful it would be for my mind’s well being just a little bit after.
Automatic drawing means letting your subconscious mind speak up to the clear page. It’s also a fantastic way to get over an artistic block. Remember talking on the phone, or being in a meeting and drawing various shapes and twirls at the corner of your page? That’s A.D. explained simply. You are not putting too many thoughts in it, you have no expectations about the result.
First time I tried this technique I used my iPad Pro and Procreate app.
At the beginning, it’s very hard to switch yourself off and let the lines flow the direction they’d like. By the 3rd drawing, I realised I became more proficient in automatic drawing, meaning – I managed to allow my mind to relax, to release all the tension and worries I have into the page.
Later on, I started drawing “nonsense” in my sketchbooks whenever I had a free moment. You can turn the page 90 degrees and continue from there. My experience is that if you take a short break from your drawing and get back to it, you may see things you did not suppose are there. It’s like your soul sending you a message that might be the solution you were looking for or the emotions you did not suppose you feel (anger, despair, self-pity and etc.).
In January my father died. I write these lines and still can’t believe it. The first couple of months I was feeling all sorts of feelings, looking for a reason for being here at all, trying to cope with what happened and not wanting to accept it as a fact. I still don’t really… at least not fully. Part of me is extremely broken, shaken and hurt… but at the same time, he’s even closer to my heart now.
I could do hardly anything involving art. I had a very hard time at work where I’m supposed to be creative, communicative and think towards problem-solving. Personal projects were left aside immediately. The only thing I could do to allow myself to stay calm and concentrate during the day was automatic drawing. It saved my sanity and gave me the chance for an emotional recharge in the coffee breaks at work so I can keep up with my tasks and stop thinking of a quiet withdraw at home crying.
Last but not least, on a brighter note, you can practice automatic drawing as a warm-up before you get to the real drawing session OR use it as an opportunity to create abstract pieces.
What other applications of the automatic drawing technique could you suggest? Share in the comments:)