Balance In Life And Art

Gabrielle Adam

22 Jun 2020


It’s a simple word but not such a simple state to get to. I know that I’ve always struggled to get to that grey area, always thinking something’s either black or white. All or nothing. Good or bad. But as time goes by, I’ve realised that I don’t always have to choose between one or the other.

During this “new normal” we’ve been living in for the last three months, one major change I’ve noticed is the need to slow down. We’ve been taken away from the constant rush of life and we’re now eager to get back to what lets us take some time out for ourselves again.

We’re getting back to our plants, our puzzles, our books, our hobbies. Those moments that let us breath are exactly what harmony is all about: finding the middle ground that brings you peace amidst the chaos.

This balance we’re striking is also something I’ve been admiring in the field of art. With new drawing apps such as Procreate, many artists have been adapting to pushing their art towards a more digital form. In the past couple of years, they’ve been finding that middle ground between off and on-screen methods to produce their art.

For example, Lisa Congdon, an American illustrator based in Portland, is one such artist. While still occasionally drawing or painting by hand, most of her work since 2018 has become digital. She’s also managed to retain that raw, hand-crafted feel to her work. And that’s just one of the many things I love about her (that and the fact that she has the most beautiful collection of erasers, something I never thought I’d find myself saying).

She’s been able to adapt to this changing world without letting go of her previous ways of working.

You can find Congdon’s art here:

And here’s her beautiful eraser collection:

Another artist who’s gone digital is the brilliant David Hockney. Well-known for his 1967 painting ‘A Bigger Splash’, Hockney’s been creating a lot of new work with his iPhone, iPad and computer. As he says it himself, “There are advantages and disadvantages to anything new in mediums for artists, but the speed allowed here with colour is something new, swapping brushes in the hand with oil or watercolour takes time.” Like Congdon, Hockney still paints the ‘old-fashioned way’, but I find it amazing to see an artist like himself who’s been around for so long has been tempted to find that balance in art as well.

You can find Hockney’s digital work here:

Now let’s just hope that we remember to keep this balance we’ve found once we start heading back to the office!

There are a few other artists who’ve found that balance between the old and the new: