Want to Remember More? Draw.

THE BENEFITS OF DRAWING

I got into the habit of sketching daily scenes from the bus. It's a great way to warm up my drawing muscles and stay in shape every day (yes, drawing muscles are a thing! And they require continuous training).

Sketching is also a way to preserve memories and everyday moments.
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Have you noticed that you memorize things better if you draw them? When I decide to give all of my attention and focus to draw something, it creates a deeper connection in my brain and longer lasting memories. 

This effect has also been scientifically proven. In fact, when people draw certain items instead of writing them, they have a much higher chance of remembering them.

Even if you think you cannot draw, drawing as a process can increase your level of memorization - all you need are 4 seconds for a quick doodle.
 

We believe that the benefit arises because drawing helps to create a more cohesive memory trace that better integrates visual, motor and semantic information.
— Jeffrey Wammes, researcher at the University of Waterloo

I've recently found my old sketchbook from a trip to Venice in 2011. It immediately sparked memories from that place and I could recall the exact place where I was standing while I was drawing many of the scenes.

The power of drawing in correlation to the mind is fascinating.

travel sketchbook

So where could you possibly find better models to draw than while commuting?

THE CHARM OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT - OR LACK OF IT

Public transport is a bit intimidating. You get to share your personal space with strangers, soak up all the smells that could be coming from grocery bags or strong perfume, and listen to a lot of conversations just because you forgot to take your earphones.

But sometimes, there are fun situations too.

Like a guy explaining to his friend how much he ADORES pudding with caramel. 
Or a girl wearing fake flowers in her hair.
Or another girl telling her friend to move away because it's too hot. 

#WIP - WORK IN PROGRESS

I am currently working on a lot of the sketches from the past year. This includes inking and vectorizing them.

Not to go too much into details now, I will show you the whole process in my next blog post.

Until then, here is a sneak peek into my work in progress.

Can you guess what am I working on?

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Shooting Logomania - an Upbeat Campaign on Ibiza

The sand was soft under our feet, the salty air caressing our hair. You could hear the waves and the wind, bringing echoes of people enjoying the last rays of sunlight before dusk.

The light was just about perfect when we set off to shore on one of Ibiza's beaches. It was the best setup to follow the brief - ''do whatever you think will work out great''.

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THE PROBLEM WITH CREATIVE FREEDOM

Having this kind of absolute creative freedom may feel like anyone's dream come true. Sometimes, though, it may come off as rather hard. This sounds counter-intuitive. 

How is following someone else's idea easier than creating your own?

There are a million different ways on how to approach a shoot, and freedom demands of you to be your own creative director. 

While following a brief means you have guidelines that you must follow, freedom means you need to define your own guidelines. 

My thought process requires structure. The only times when I don't need it is when I'm doodling in my sketchbook, although you can see that there are certain rules that I unconsciously follow.

I approach any project, regardless of the medium, by creating a clear set of rules that I will follow throughout in order for the end result to be cohesive.

A logical connection is important to see the final project come together.

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LIFESTYLE MEETS FASHION

For this shoot I decided to take a fun, upbeat, youthful approach with elements of lifestyle photography.

After all, we were in a magnificent place with my team of gorgeous ladies, shooting mostly swimwear and clothing that could be easily worn in spring as well as autumn, all coming from the hands of the Croatian designer Iggy Popović.

A readhead, a brunette and a blonde - it felt a bit like shooting one of those Benetton campaigns from the 90s that caught flame like wildfire.
 

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Finding Vivian Maier's privacy

Have you seen the documentary about Vivian Maier?
If you haven’t, you should.

A strict nanny, but also a photographer whose works haven’t seen the light until a few years ago, Vivian Maier made thousands upon thousand of photographs during her lifetime.

Those works have been found and revealed by John Maloof who accidentally bought a huge box of negatives on an auction and found out they were really, really good. He was curious and wanted to know more about the artists herself - who WAS this Vivian Maier?

He tried Google - nothing came up. Strange, isn’t it? He had all this amazing work from a completely unknown photographer and decided to scan the negatives and try reaching for Vivian’s family and friends because Vivian herself passed back in 2009.
There came a surprise - she did not have any family left and not many friends either. The people who remember her most are the kids she used to babysit and they've got both joyful and dark stories to tell about her.

(Photo source HERE)

Deciding to create a documentary about Vivian’s life, even though he’s never met her, Maloof sets out on a mission to connect the bits and pieces of her life.
He was granted access to her storage unit and found a massive pile of Vivian’s stuff like letters, her hats and coats, newspaper articles, undeveloped film, tickets, flyers etc. from the 70s and the 80s.

I won’t be writing a movie review here, but I’ll rather focus on the matter of privacy.

Wikipedia describes privacy as the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves, or information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively. The boundaries and content of what is considered private differ among cultures and individuals, but share common themes.

 

With phone and computer hackings, privacy has surpassed being a right and it is now a privilege. Who does have that sort of privilege?
I assume that only a small percentage of people have the freedom to keep their documents private without leaving a trace.


Vivian was a very private, reclusive person. She needed a lock in her room and didn’t allow anybody to come in. She was also a pack rat and her room was the reflection of a typical hoarder: chaotic, with stuff all over the place and so many stacks of newspapers that you could barely walk.

Now that she’s gone, the author of the movie revealed all this information about her to us, the viewers. He revealed the things that she kept in secrecy and didn’t tell anyone about.

There have recently been committed privacy crimes in terms of leaking nude photos of celebrities. Is this much different?
That internet leak of photos was meant to harm and embarrass.
John was fascinated by the splendid works of a photographer the art world knew nothing about. He made sure to have the works exhibited and promoted, therefore promoting the name of Vivian Maier herself.

Would she have approved? And how much does it matter, now that she’s not among the living?

 

(Photo source HERE)

(Photo source HERE)

From one standpoint, it’s unethical to disrupt someone’s privacy, but from another stance, now we’re given the opportunity to enjoy her work. The Egyptians surely didn’t want anybody rumbling around their pyramids, yet hoards of tourists visit them every day. Many works of art were hidden for decades and, once found, presented to the audience in museums or galleries.

Dedicating yourself to archive and exhibit in public places so many works made by an unknown artist, like Maloof has done, could be a long and nerve-wracking but, in the end, extremely valuable act. We can learn so much not only about the artist, but also about a certain period of time by looking at paintings, photographs, sculptures and other works that emerged from it.

What is the point of creation if you keep it all to yourself? Have those photos actually been created for the eyes of others as well as Vivian’s?

I think I’ve come to an unanswerable question. I find her photographs splendid and I’m glad I can take a sneak peak into Vivian’s world and way of seeing things. 

The best thing to do is watch the movie and judge by yourself. And pssst, rumour has it that the documentary could be nominated for the Oscars!

Let me know in the comments below what you think!
Was it wrong to publicly display all Vivian’s things? Is art meant to be enjoyed by the public?