Emily sits right next to me at the coffee shop here in Kansas. We’re on a little creative excursion, trying to go about our own ways with writing and drawing. She’s my favourite artist; her worldview and ideas flow so freely through the visual effects that she creates. She is a communicator, and she puts such emphasis in trying to speak to her audience through her medium.
It’s a wonderful product that comes out in the end, but one of the best parts about being with her during the entire drawing process is that I’m physically present and full witness to a visual work in its conception from start to finish.
Her focus is intense. She grips her tablet pen and lays it down on the accompanying surface. Drawing on a computer is remarkable to watch in person, since the interface is completely separate from the actual medium being displayed. It reminds me quite fondly of the experience of writing, and how there is a detachment between pen and paper when the writing process takes place on a keyboard and screen, or even a typewriter.
Is there any sort of connection between our movements and inputs and the things that we create as we write? Are we writing our words too fast? I pound away on my Microsoft Surface keyboard as violently and in the sharpest blur as I could muster with my touch typing skills, and as the paragraph grows ever larger, I find myself seeing words simply appearing on the screen. It’s almost as if they appear magically from my mind, but at that point it’s a wonder that those words were mine to begin with.
Fortunately, I still like to keep notebooks on me for random occasions when I feel I can’t seem to get words out onto the screen. Putting pen to paper is a flexible alternative, as any sort of writing that I do is satisfactory, as I get the majority of my kicks from the physical act of writing. There’s a remarkably different feeling between seeing the words from on paper, from the ink, pressed down from a pen held in my hand, much like the stylus pen that Emily currently wields.
I could ask her what sort of feeling she gets when she draws on her macbook as opposed to stroking a brush through a postcard with watercolours, just like the last time we were creative together. From my perspective, it’s almost as if her focus when painting is much sharper, and her eyes and hand are connected as one. I don’t want to ask her right now though; she seems to be having too much fun, just as I am while writing this post while sitting next to her at the coffee shop in Kansas.