Slow Art

June 22, 2021: Quite often, the word “slow” means something negative. “My computer is “slow”, traffic is “slow”, even when someone is referred to as “slow” it means they are not too smart.

These days we want everything fast, fast, fast. Fast delivery, fast food, fast fashion, fast internet.

But being in the creative “fast lane” which is what TV volume cartoons are, ( and I often took it as a compliment when someone said I was “fast”) I’m longing to slow down. Not just in life, but also my art.

I’m often drawn to stories about craftsmen and women who are meticulous , slow and deliberate with their art. Hiro dreams of Sushi,, a meticulous quality bookmaker. Approaching it with presence. Being an artist is presence. Being an artist is acting as a channel for spirit to work through you. It’s difficult for that to happen when the speed of execution is often the goal. There are some who can achieve that, and there is a lot of creativity in fast entertainment ( and I enjoyed aspects of it) But the role in television animation ( and often feature) is often more of a technical draftsman and fast copy writer. Learning your trade of creative widget making. Quite often everything looks the same. And the same gags, and the same storylines. It’s filling the holes in the grand distraction wall. ( Don’t see whats on the other side, you might like it). It’s often hard to go deep into highly original, inspired storytelling.

I’m liking slower art right now. Cultivating that connection. Taking the time to make it with presence and inspiration. But you also have to maintain an eye on expenses and living a simple artists life if you are to accept that things take time. Here in Europe, things are slower in general. Often we make jokes about it, but I’ve grown to like it. Linger around a meal. Have coffee actually sitting down, not from a drive-thru. Being present with someone or just with what is.

This sounds a little cosmic, but the other day I took a sip of coffee and sensed the coffee grower who grew the beans, and the ones who picked the beans and the roaster who roasted them. ( Ok, Joe has really gone off the deep end).

Lets re-brand the word “slow” into something more positive like “Slow Food” does. Like growing a garden.

I know often people tune in to this blog for fan stuff about Rocko, Lazlo or Luna, and sometimes there is that occasionally. But a journal is a “Journey Log”. This is where I am today.

4 Responses

  1. A mention and a personal story.

    Mention: I knew about your journal vs journey wordplay. This section on your website is titled journal, but if you try to reach it from the main menu, it’s called journey. I thought about making you fix it, but I found more interesting to let it be since it looked like something deeper than a coincidence.

    Personal story: I play tetris against people. The idea is to clear lines, the more you clear, the more garbage you send to your opponents. This leads people towards the goal ‘I gotta get faster’. I am one of the best players of my country, and at my level, the people I face is incredibly fast. They drop from 2 to 3 pieces per second.
    However my gameplay is much slower. I read the board and defend effectively sending the attacks I receive back to those who attacked me.
    The more I played, the slower I got, the bigger victories I achieved. This month, we broke a record of amount of players in the same game, we were 642 rivals. I ended up in 1st position, and I did this at 1.56 pieces per second (slow).

    I may be talking about a game, but when I think about me and how I act, I can see that I know how to take my time to get the best of a situation. I know how to be fast, I just choose not to spend myself if it’s not necessary.

    I wouldn’t type all this if I hadn’t felt this journal/journey post at a personal level.

    Have a good day!

  2. I do find there is a problem in the world we’re living in, of art being thought of as “content” to reach “consumers,” and consumers need content quickly. I think there is something to be said for being able to crank out material, but this can lead to artists feeling a need to be one person factories, churning things out on the assembly line without time to think of the deeper question of “why?” It is certainly refreshing to see someone advocating for a slower, more methodical approach.

  3. I enjoy reading this blog on slow.

    I have been working on a comic strip and the early stages of it, I was quick. A quick draft to jot down the ideal of what I wanted. I haven’t touched it in a a few weeks. My wife was concerned that I have given up on it, which has happened before. I told her I’m just “digesting” how the comic went , and I can say so far I don’t like the last few panels. She was very proud to hear that from me. She has been helping me correct this fast pace that my educators have forced apron me in the art world. So I agree with you. Slow and steady wins the race.

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