Being an artist whose medium of choice is ink I can't help but sometimes think about its history and its general applications. Unlike other traditional art mediums (such as watercolors or oil paints) ink is primarily used for writing and printing. Ever since it first appeared, way back in neolithic China it had been used as primary medium of documenting human history. Ink is everywhere around us, on money, on packaging and labels of various products. We use ink to permanently decorate our skin, to sign our name on contracts and documents and until recently we had our finger prints taken by use of ink. Ink is used in printing newspapers and books and some of the most significant texts in history of civilization were written in ink (such as Dead Sea Scrolls or Declaration Of Independence, for example.) So, sometimes when I sit at my drawing desk, before I begin to work, I let my mind wander and reflect on history and meaning of ink and how the importance and energy of that medium influences my own art.
I feel I have a personal relationship with ink. As a kid, I spent a lot of time around my grandfather who was an architect and has always been working on blueprints and drawing using pen and ink. I remember picking up ink pens as a very young kid and learning to draw with them. I always loved drawing with pens and had very little interest in using any other tools such as brushes (I haven't started using brushes and "painting with ink" until few years ago). When I was a teenager I was obsessed with filling pages with doodles, drawing silly comics and making absurd, artsy zines using black ink and pen. In my early twenties I went through some sort of angry, expressionist phase making artworks by spilling a lot of colored ink on paper and making a lot of mess. No matter what I was doing ink has always been playing an important role in my creative life and the older I get and the more I realize who I am as an artist the more I'm aware of my personal relationship with the medium. If I could pick only one art medium to use for the rest of my life it would most certainly be ink, I love it so much.
When ink is mentioned as an art medium most people will automatically think of black ink which is perfectly understandable considering its history. But, when I'm thinking of ink, I'm primarily referring to colored drawing ink (and all its incarnations such as gel ink etc). I do love black ink a lot but when love colors even more and I love using them in my art. Use of colored ink plays crucial role in my current personal art project, Ink Flower Garden (that's why is called ink garden after all :)). Not only colored ink helps to achieve beautiful, rich, saturated tones I love but some qualities of ink such as translucence allow me repetitively layer shapes on top of each other and get interesting effects. For example, by using ink you can easily achieve an effect of luminescence, an impression of light emanating from your art as well as many other unique effect I'm interested in exploring. I won't get into detail about how I make effects I do (maybe in some other post) but working with ink gives me everything I need and want as an artist. It makes me so happy to work with it and, frankly I'm feeling very blessed (as silly as that might sound) form this medium to be part of my life since is the perfect vehicle for my artistic self-expression. What is your medium of choice?