There are few things better to remember the first time you draw than to realize you have a drawing-book in front of you. You want to know, how do I know? How do I know what the other person is thinking and thinking about? When you are a new artist, you don’t know your fellow artists. You know just one or two people, maybe even none. You’ve got to know people in a general way, so you know why they are saying what they are saying, and why they are thinking, and think about things that are not easy to explain. But the drawing-book is a place for you to learn that; you’ll have to go through it a couple of times, and you’ll remember what the others are saying. This is because you’ve got to have the skill of listening, in which every line is a point that is being made to you by someone else. As you learn better, you can look at the sketch and go: well, I don’t get why these people are saying this — how do you know it’s not me? So these sketch-books are for you to go, thinking and looking about things that you don’t understand. I do think you should look carefully at the process because these people are saying something that you will have to interpret. So you really need to hear how things come out. I’ve always done this with people, when the drawing-book is gone, and I look after them, asking what they need or why they are saying something I’m not understanding. When they go over a sentence, I’ll ask, what else is wrong here? You may have to ask a lot, so I don’t put you off. I just let them talk anyway, because I’m not in a rush. I give them the time and space they need to do it properly and I go over and listen.
Do you ever talk to anyone else who has a drawing-book besides you? Yeah absolutely, and in fact you can talk, in an interesting way, with people who have never done any drawing. People will say the same things and I love talking to them. So I’ll be like, you just don’t understand why somebody should be going into that territory. There’s no point in being there if you don’t know what’s on the card. So I’ll be like, tell me why, and people will be like, oh, well, I don’t know. So you have to listen. You have to listen a little to find
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