Can We Improve Our Talent And Draw Better through meditation?



  • Thigs we know:

    Hard work beats talent any day.
    Let's be clear first. The best scenario possible is the combination of those two things. To be talented and work hard at the same time.
    But a person with little talent can be a great artist if her/he work hard enough, a person with talent who don't work hard enough, I doubt it.

    But What is talent? I've been asking myself this question since long, long ago. Is a hard-to-grasp concept because encompass a variety of things.

    The Talent I want to talk about is the capacity to "see things" in your mind so you can draw what you are seeing.

    One - We have a "reference source bank account" in some place deep in our brain. For example, if we are presented with different anatomic drawings, some correct, come incorrect, some incorrect but possible or pleasing, some unpleasant or impossible, we can recognize that immediately. That means that we have the information in our brain.

    Two - And we have the capacity of creating worlds in our dreams.

    But some people it seems like they have the capacity of seeing this information at any moment, like if they are connected, while others are like disconnected, like if the information can be used only in one direction, they can use it for recognizing things but not for expressing things through your drawing. (and the same can be said about music, chess, etc).

    The way I understand this is, there are two ways of drawing, we can "see things" and drawing (very similar to trace over a picture), or we can use our brain, what we know, and start experimenting, drawing lines and see then what lines work and what not.
    The clear advantage of the first method is that not only we have better results with less effort, but when we create from our world we immediately bring out our style.
    I suppose we all have a combination of the two things but "seeing" things is not as usual as we would like, and often it is given to us in small quantities.

    The perfect example for study is Frank Frazetta because he had the "power" and at some point in his career he lost it.

    Frazetta is the example of the student who draws better than his teachers, and without or with little struggle or effort. He could have training and hours of practicing, I don't say that that's is not the case but he is light years ahead of the regular art student. He could at any moment close his eyes and "see".

    There multiples anecdotes about his life and talent in his interviews and the interviews of others cartoonist who knew him. I don't remember exactly where I read or listen to the ones I will mention. But for starters, the reading of ICON and watching the documentary "Painting With Fire" I think covers the most important.

    Frazetta made a lot of his paintings in one night, working with oleo, which that alone is a big feat. At some point in his career, he was given 30 days sometimes for a cover and he passes 29 days playing Baseball and the last day at night he looked for some canvas (sometimes he doesn't have one, that's the reason why "1966 Neanderthal" cover have the texture of a conglomerate wood), he brings coffee, put some classical music and start painting. Sure over years he took a lot of his paintings and work in them a little more, that's the reason why you can find different versions of a lot of his paintings, but a painting good enough for a cover was executed in one night, working with oleo. Astounding.

    Once a cartoonist friend of Frazetta has to draw a bunny and he tells "I don't know how to draw a bunny, I've never drawn one. I need some photo for reference. Do you draw a bunny before, Frank?" and Frank said "no, but wait" Frazetta closed his eyes for one moment, opened them and draws a bunny. There was no realistic bunny, it was a "Frazetta bunny". It was a bunny "extracted" from his inner world, which he could access at any time. Unless until...

    One - Frazetta once bought a cheap product (I think it was turpentine but I'm not sure) and work in his basement I don't remember how much time but a lot, I think he worked several days but you have to search for yourself if you want to know for sure. Is a lot of time since I read this and I'm writing from memory.
    Two - He got sick. And he lost the capacity of "seeing" things. He explained, "All that marvelous images stop coming to my mind" (again, probably no his exact words, I'm writing from my memory). Fron that moment forward his work was very regular work, he could paint "correctly" because he had training and experience, but nothing like before.
    And three - Years pass and they find the solution (it was a malfunction of the thyroid gland if I remember clearly) and after that, he made again masterworks.

    So my point is, if that "power" is a talent, if is something we can train or stimulate. (I'm sure that drawing over years stimulate a little bit that, but I think that is an indirect approach. Like, when you dance your muscles get activated and grow, but if you want your muscles to grow for real you can do body-building which have specific exercises for that purpose).

    The million-dollar question is: There are specific exercises we can do for our purpose, "seeing things", so we can draw better and find our style sooner?

    Because is a powerful talent that. It beats years of study. Is the difference between having to calculate for yourself writing numbers or using a calculator. You already know how to make the equations, but doing them for yourself is going to take you hours, skip the process and go directly to the solution.
    Like I said, is to an important issue in the training of a cartoonist to have it ignored.

    Is there, I don't know, meditation exercises, something, ways in which we can stimulate this talent? Did someone work in this before?

    I've been meditating from over 10 years and right now I'm starting to concentrate in this during my meditation, looking, searching in my mind, trying to visualize faces, figures, worlds. Is still too soon but if I make some progress I'll post it here.

    Thank you all for reading. I wish you a great day!