Picture imPerfect

There are some moments that I’d call picture perfect. These are snippets of time, that seem to defy the normal timeline and settle deep within my core. Hours spent on the sofa, reading a favored Neil Gaiman book, sipping tea while the rain outside gives the world a fresh spring bath. Knowing you nailed an interview for the all-too-perfect job at your dream company. Relaxing out in the backyard, enjoying the sun, as a squirrel or rabbit or bird hops by your side... these moments make life alive.

Memories like these stay in my head and become sources of my daydreams. I often wonder what I can do to recapture the feelings and moments more often. Repeating them over and over in your mind is one way to do it and a good way to romanticize the past. However, repeating them also creates longing and I've learned that it's never too good to dwell in the past. The best way I've found is to capture these moments, in words or in images, in your journals. Distill the feeling and picture of that time in your life down to it's core and immortalize it on a page.

Now these entries aren't about trying to make it sound precisely or flow perfectly as though it were a literary novel. Instead, allow the moment and your uniqueness to show through. The perfect moment is worth capturing due to your unique perspective. No two people share the same idea of what things are worth remembering about in their lives. Drawing and sketching is not about making the image look as realistic as it exists outside of our perceptions. Instead, look towards the act of drawing itself. We learned the art of what is perfect from countless years in school. Things had to be perfect there. Imperfect circles and scribbles had no place where you had to be precise. Thankfully real life is not like school. Real life allows us to be imperfect in our attempts at art. Real life allows the artist to explore their world through their eyes and deductions lines and "realistic" figures were what we learned about in school. In school, things had to be precise and exact. There was no room for hastily scribbled notes or thoughts. Everything was neatly crossed out or undone.

What I talk about is going against this learning. I challenge you to erase nothing, or rip no page from your journal. Instead, revel in your imperfect and personal interpretation of that "perfect moment" you are trying to capture on canvas. Erase nothing and allow those small imperfections to be flawless in their own right. For it's really all about going out and creating your version of that scene. The mistakes become part of the journey.

Writing Memories
The easiest way to capture those moments and how they made you feel is by writing them down. Dig into the details, try and recreate the scene and how you felt when you were in that moment so that you can attempt to recreate more of these feelings in your life. Close your eyes and let your mind take you back to the event to be captured. Try and allow your mind to recreate all five senses. Write exactly what was in the air at that moment. Was the weather warm or cool over your skin? What did you hear at that time. Using and writing about all five senses helps to bring that moment back to life. If you're writing about a special moment shared with another, don't forget to include snippets of conversations into your entry. Write your life as it was the greatest fiction ever. Because, in a way... it is.

Drawing Memories
Take out a D*I*Y Planner Storyboard form and sketch out what picture of the moment you’d take if you had a camera during that scene. Close your eyes and imagine that you are back in that memory. Hold your fingers out to frame the moment, even if the image you seek to draw is in your head. Turn up the brightness and allow everything to appear in FULL on color. Everything appears in bright vivid colors. If you're still hung up on the idea of you not being good enough for your moment, why not line your blank page with a grid or small squares. Then, you apply the scene you want to draw to the grid. Break the portrait down into small manageable chunks; only draw bits of the scene that belong to their corresponding squares. If you are so lucky as to have your camera to capture the perfect moment or scene, you can still write or draw out your feelings of the moment. Print the photo out and write or draw more thoughts and impressions on the back of it.

Life was meant to be documented. Each moment we live and share with others holds some special meaning for us all. Capture these moments in your books so that you can free your mind to experience more special moments. Give yourself permission to create the life you wanted on that page. Don't fret and worry about the scene you're capturing isn't as perfect as the event. A lot of times, the things that spark memories most vividly for US wouldn't mean a THING to a casual observer, so even if your storyboard looks a lot like an epileptic cat left shaky scratches, if it means something to YOU, it's GOOD. After all, it's about evoking the memory's details that you might forget, not about being some kind of award-winning sketch artist in your own journal.

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Well said. I've always felt

Well said. I've always felt that in art it was the imperfection that makes for perfection.

Time for me to bring out more of the pictures in my mind. In my memory, the best photographs are the ones that didn't turn out.

all the best, jp.

--
www.spaceabovethecouch.com

Taking Time to Smell the Roses...

Great article inno, For me also the process of drawing is more important in the capturing of a moment than the end result. Reading your article has reminded me how important it is to capture all five senses in my notes rather than rely on just the one.

Thank you. :)