The Yoga of Fantasy Drawing

Elfin

Drawing to me is like Yoga. I don’t mean “like taking a yoga class.” Think about Yoga as if you were one of its original creators or discoverers. That’s what I am getting at. Drawing, for me is like going on a journey that suprisingly leads to places I never expected, possibly to the edge of enlightenment itself.

When I draw, I tap into what yoga taps into: increased awareness and mind body integration. I become more alive, which sounds a bit trite, I guess. But it’s really true: I become more energized and physical. If I have been drawing, when I shoot a basket into the trash, it goes in. Or if it doesn’t go in, I know why. I feel it. I map out the space between me and the garbage can.

I become aware of my breathing, my posture, even my heartbeat. I can feel if there is negative energy trapped in my body. I know if I am dehydrated, or if I should eat or not.

I become aware of my chakras.

Art has a lot to do with the second chakra. I sense this. It’s kind of sexual. I think its natural for sexual themes to show up in drawing. I think it makes it better.

If I think of fantasy illustrators, or graphic novelists, if they are any good, like R. Crumb, or European comic book artists, like Serpieri they deal with sexual themes.

As a matter of fact, if they don’t draw anything sexy they are probably no good. I think really good rendering needs to tap into sexual energy. I am not sure what it is, but it’s like a force field or something: Its magic. Sex connects people. It’s very psychic.

Say, for example, a person is a pin-up artist. It has to be very sensual. The anatomy has to be accurate, though idealized. The way you do this well is to conjure up a beautiful woman in some type of psychic space. Then you draw her. She is there, you can feel her, you can feel every square inch of her body. Once you have created that, you just render her. You know if it’s right; you feel her. She is alive. You have created her. Rendering then is the easy part.

This must be how Frazetta did it.

He felt the women, sensually, and also the warriors in the act of fighting. He was a natural athlete himself.

Steve Heistman (C)

There is a mind body connection in rendering. I am talking about the masters, here. I sense they all are tapping into something very visceral.

Rendering from shapes, like certain instructional materials would teach, that’s all bullshit. People aren’t made from shapes, they are composed of living flesh.

This living flesh is the embodiment of an idea. It’s a divine idea. Its a  dimensional hologram projected from the quantum field of pure consciousness.

Its spiritual. I tap into that.

When rendering animals or monsters, or other diverse types of entities, I shapeshift and then sketch how I feel through proprioception, which is the sense of how one’s body occupies space. I imagine how it would feel to have scales covering my body, or fur, and feel my muscles and bones filled out into animals forms.

Steve Heistman (C)

In rendering non-human entities, alien intelligences-I like to render the eyes first to get a sense of their psychic space; their energy. Then a body begins to materialize that corresponds to it.

To me the fun is in conjuring and interacting with these alien intelligences that seem palpably real to me and then recording the results in a drawing, commemorating the encounter.

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Heistman (C)

 

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  • Infvocuernos

    I’m right there with you.  Everyone starts out drawing, but most give it up when they’re still young due to peer pressure or lack of encouragement by parents.  I believe that drawing is a form of literacy.  It conveys a great deal of information but requires huge amounts of practice to get to the point where it functions dependably.  There is a reason why all written languages have their origins in pictographs.  Great article.     

    • Matt Staggs

      I used to draw a lot, and had experiences similar to Ted’s: the feeling of my muscles attempting to mimic what I was drawing.

      • Calypso_1

        You guys are talking about projecting the visualizing, dreaming psyche into what sounds like the processing capabilities of mirror neurons, especially where he was speaking of proprioception.  Fascinating.

        • Ted Heistman

           Yeah, it was awesome when I learned about proprioception as a well documented sixth sense. That probably is what I am doing “projecting the visualizing, dreaming psyche into what sounds like the processing capabilities of mirror neurons”

          I feel like certain artists, especially in the Fantasy illustration/comic book genre do this. Some of these artists jump very easily into sculpture also. Sculpture actually brings it out more.

          There is a sculptor featured on juxtapoz that sculpts in 3-d and then prints it with a 3-d printer. Literally materializing things that before only exist in the aether.

          http://www.ericvanstraaten.com/

          • Calypso_1

            You also mention it’s spirituality- that you tap into it.
            Look at the religions who have forbidden the use of images.
            Or that utilize images ritualistically in so many diverse forms and fashion.  Usually attention is given to the form after it is created.  Sometimes there are anecdotal accounts regarding the spiritual relationship between the artwork & creator.  But rarely is attention paid to the nature of the space you are creating inside you to let the image dwell and come forth – the conjuring. 

          • Ted Heistman

             Yeah, that’s interesting. I think the spiritual aspect might have to do with what Eckhart Tolle has called “the inner body”

            That’s interesting about “graven images” too. There is definitely power here. I can see why creating images might become taboo, in order for as Spiritual Caste to maintain control. That way they can monopolize the imagery of the culture.

          • Ted Heistman

             Yeah, that’s interesting. I think the spiritual aspect might have to do with what Eckhart Tolle has called “the inner body”

            That’s interesting about “graven images” too. There is definitely power here. I can see why creating images might become taboo, in order for as Spiritual Caste to maintain control. That way they can monopolize the imagery of the culture.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

            That sounds quite a bit like scrying techniques I’ve been looking at and trying out recently. The object is to visualise a place in as much sensory detail as possible, creating an imaginary landscape that you can walk about in and interact with. If you’re not already familiar, look out for ‘A Short Course in Scrying’ by Benjamin Rowe.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

            That sounds quite a bit like scrying techniques I’ve been looking at and trying out recently. The object is to visualise a place in as much sensory detail as possible, creating an imaginary landscape that you can walk about in and interact with. If you’re not already familiar, look out for ‘A Short Course in Scrying’ by Benjamin Rowe.

          • Ted Heistman

             I’ll check it out. Thanks!

          • Ted Heistman

             I’ll check it out. Thanks!

      • Ted Heistman

         Yeah, I think nearly all children are natural artists. In some cultures like in New Guinea they stay that way.

    • Ted Heistman

       Thanks, I replied to you but my comment got eaten, but anyway you should check out the comments on the article on comics and magic. Some good stuff in there re:sigils

  • Calypso_1

    Let me pose a question.  Has anybody ever cultivated drawing skills and then moved into another abstract art form – music, theatre, writing etc, and found those drawing skills largely diminished but their new art form advancing at a prolific pace?

  • Calypso_1

    Let me pose a question.  Has anybody ever cultivated drawing skills and then moved into another abstract art form – music, theatre, writing etc, and found those drawing skills largely diminished but their new art form advancing at a prolific pace?

    • Matt Staggs

      Yes, definitely. I really didn’t get into writing and mass communication until I stopped drawing and painting. I believe that drawing rewires the way you think in some beneficial ways.

    • Matt Staggs

      Yes, definitely. I really didn’t get into writing and mass communication until I stopped drawing and painting. I believe that drawing rewires the way you think in some beneficial ways.

      • Ted Heistman

         Joe Rogan wanted to be a comic book artist before he got into martial arts and later comedy. He was good too.

        • Infvocuernos

           Interesting to see how many of us there are that travel along these same lines. 

          • Ted Heistman

             Yeah, I know, right? Feels good to make connections between things and see others making the same ones…

      • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

        Actually now you mention it when I was much younger I was usually drawing, and wanted to write stories and music to the pictures. I lost that habit along the way. I’d even completely forgotten about it until now. Also I have stupidly long cycles when it comes to music, during the weeks of drought between bursts, drawing is an incredibly relaxing way of relieving the creative urge without being alternately intense and frustrating. I think the arts all feed off and empower each other in their own peculiar ways though, sometimes I’ll write a tune that had me in a trance for days making it and I’ll come away and draw something awesome when I’m winding down.

      • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

        Actually now you mention it when I was much younger I was usually drawing, and wanted to write stories and music to the pictures. I lost that habit along the way. I’d even completely forgotten about it until now. Also I have stupidly long cycles when it comes to music, during the weeks of drought between bursts, drawing is an incredibly relaxing way of relieving the creative urge without being alternately intense and frustrating. I think the arts all feed off and empower each other in their own peculiar ways though, sometimes I’ll write a tune that had me in a trance for days making it and I’ll come away and draw something awesome when I’m winding down.

        • Ted Heistman

           I’ve had drawings inspire me to write short stories.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

            Innit. I think you’ve got a point about art being tied up into the sexual/procreative drive, it’s almost like now you’ve drawn this thing and you want to give it a birthplace, a biography and it’s own world full of sensory experience to live in. Maybe even create more little beings to play with it. Awh. I’m getting broody just thinking about it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

            Innit. I think you’ve got a point about art being tied up into the sexual/procreative drive, it’s almost like now you’ve drawn this thing and you want to give it a birthplace, a biography and it’s own world full of sensory experience to live in. Maybe even create more little beings to play with it. Awh. I’m getting broody just thinking about it.

          • Ted Heistman

             ha ha!

          • Ted Heistman

             ha ha!

    • Infvocuernos

       I have found-for myself anyway- that I can break art into 2 catagories: representational, and abstract.  With representational art, I feel I ‘commune’ more with my subjects and relate to what is occurring in a given scene, whereas abstract art(for myself this is in working on celtic knotwork or ornate scrollwork) brings on a meditative introverted feel.  I experience time dilation frequently during long sessions of abstract work.  I bet mandala sand paintings like the Tibetans  do would be ecstatic. 

    • Infvocuernos

       I have found-for myself anyway- that I can break art into 2 catagories: representational, and abstract.  With representational art, I feel I ‘commune’ more with my subjects and relate to what is occurring in a given scene, whereas abstract art(for myself this is in working on celtic knotwork or ornate scrollwork) brings on a meditative introverted feel.  I experience time dilation frequently during long sessions of abstract work.  I bet mandala sand paintings like the Tibetans  do would be ecstatic. 

    • Haystack

      I write and draw, and I find they compliment and reinforce one another. The same principles apply to each; the tools are different, but the creative process works the same way. What’s nice is that when I’m getting frustrated with writing, I can switch to art, which is more of a “right brained activity,” and likewise when I’m frustrated with art I go to writing and use the “left brain.” 

    • Haystack

      I write and draw, and I find they compliment and reinforce one another. The same principles apply to each; the tools are different, but the creative process works the same way. What’s nice is that when I’m getting frustrated with writing, I can switch to art, which is more of a “right brained activity,” and likewise when I’m frustrated with art I go to writing and use the “left brain.” 

  • Rev rod cottage

    “This must be how Frazetta did it”

  • Matt Staggs

    RE: Frazetta, if you’re interested in his work, I recommend the documentary “Painting with Fire.” You used to be able to get it as a double feature with the animated movie “Fire and Ice”. Not sure if it’s still so.

    • Ted Heistman

       I’ll definately check that out. Thanks

  • bobbiethejean

    If my ability to draw and paint was taken away from me, I’d kill myself or quite possibly just lie down and die. I wouldn’t want to live anymore, I’m fairly well sure about that. It is the thing I derive the most pleasure from. It is the thing that makes me happiest in my entire life. I don’t need anything or anyone else in the world when I’m painting. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a spiritual experience or go into all this stuff about “psychic space” and “chakras” and what not. For me, it’s more like a frenzy or a compulsion- I must do it. I must paint. The drive is a powerful, compelling lust to see my ideas spilled out on a canvas, a paper, a screen or an Applebees napkin. There’s nothing spiritual about it to me; it’s a biological function, un-romantic as that sounds. But it’s a biological function I couldn’t live without, that much I know.

    http://bobbie-the-jean.deviantart.com/

  • bobbiethejean

    If my ability to draw and paint was taken away from me, I’d kill myself or quite possibly just lie down and die. I wouldn’t want to live anymore, I’m fairly well sure about that. It is the thing I derive the most pleasure from. It is the thing that makes me happiest in my entire life. I don’t need anything or anyone else in the world when I’m painting. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a spiritual experience or go into all this stuff about “psychic space” and “chakras” and what not. For me, it’s more like a frenzy or a compulsion- I must do it. I must paint. The drive is a powerful, compelling lust to see my ideas spilled out on a canvas, a paper, a screen or an Applebees napkin. There’s nothing spiritual about it to me; it’s a biological function, un-romantic as that sounds. But it’s a biological function I couldn’t live without, that much I know.

    http://bobbie-the-jean.deviantart.com/

    • Ted Heistman

       That’s cool. Thanks for sharing. My impression is that artists like you become successful.

    • Ted Heistman

       That’s cool. Thanks for sharing. My impression is that artists like you become successful.

    • Ted Heistman
      • bobbiethejean

        Thanks. :3 It seems we have a bit in common artistically. Fantasy art is by far my favorite kind of art. Can you imagine the world without fantasy art? NO THANKS. And to think some people don’t like it. To each his own, I guess, but I don’t think I could stand life without fantasy art.

        • Ted Heistman

           Yeah, but you have a lot more skill! I just changed my whole job situation in order to have more time to create and work on my skills. I am considering going to animation school, if I can figure out a way to do it without borrowing money.

          What do you think of this guy:
          http://www.ericvanstraaten.com/
          I mean I am not so into the whole Lolita thing, but I think its awesome that he makes these sculptures with a 3-D printer.

        • Ted Heistman

           Yeah, but you have a lot more skill! I just changed my whole job situation in order to have more time to create and work on my skills. I am considering going to animation school, if I can figure out a way to do it without borrowing money.

          What do you think of this guy:
          http://www.ericvanstraaten.com/
          I mean I am not so into the whole Lolita thing, but I think its awesome that he makes these sculptures with a 3-D printer.

          • bobbiethejean

            A lot more skill? Bah. ^__^; I was once where you are now. It’s 90% effort, perseverance, practice, and study. Trust me, you CAN get there. You just have to want it badly enough. Quite frankly, you’re well on your way by the look of it. :) 

            As for going to animation school, I happen to have gone to animation school. Animation is a very demanding, very HARSH mistress. She will devour ALL your time and you will know stress unlike any other stress you have ever known. Think REALLY good and hard about how badly you want to get into animation. I can explain more if you wish but the bottom line is that animation is very difficult and very demanding.

            Good luck, whatever you may choose.

          • Ted Heistman

             Hey Thanks. I guess I should really think about it because I actually don’t like spending all my time indoors on a computer. But I would love to learn how to sculpt things with zbrush or Maya and print them off like this dude does. I’d love to talk to you more if your up for it. my e-mail is tedheistman@gmail.com

    • Calypso_1

      Very, very nice work.  Thx for letting us take a look.

    • Calypso_1

      Very, very nice work.  Thx for letting us take a look.

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