“Drawing is the bones of art. You have to be able to walk before you can run,” – Archibald.
A young Castleisland artist draws inspiration from many quarters for what he’s now taking major strides towards making a living at. Jack Roche has just landed the course he’s been dreaming of for some time.
This week he’s starting a degree course in Game Art and Design in Clonmel and he says his drawings are born of a need to liberate the visions locked inside his head.
“On many occasions in my life I have been asked, Why it is that I draw? – as though the career I am in the process of crafting for myself has been rationalised, reasoned and considered,” said Jack.
“The truth of the matter is that I always saw it as a natural progression from the time I first realised that the crayons were meant for colouring and not for shoving up my nose or eating, I have been drawing.
“The question why do I draw, for a long time, I have not taken seriously. I have glossed over it with flippant remarks like ‘it’s the only skill I’ve got’ or replying with something about really wanting to cultivate terrible posture and poor eyesight. Or I might say that I draw because I am not musical or that my inability to write a great novel forces me to draw it instead.
“Similarly, I might say that it is because I am a poor writer, childish with poetry, but, with a head full of dragons and faraway places, still with stories to tell.
Recently however the question has begun to demand a more considered response. Larger musings, admittedly self-indulgent ones, on who I am at this stage of my life, have brought me round to thinking through what I do this thing that defines so much of my life. I would now claim that drawing is my most natural and instinctive form of expression. ”My main aim, career-wise, is to be an illustrator. I like this title, as it is incredibly broad as a career path. Sketching is fast and unthinking and, yet, you are making decisions the whole time. With every stroke across the page you are deciding which parts of your subjects are most important to you. My sketchbooks are a mix of images and words; but, the text rarely feels like ‘writing’, but drawing, fleshing out the world within the sketch.
“There is the feeling of ‘pulling’ something out of the page, shaping it and giving it weight and, if it survives my eraser, breathing life
into the final shapes. There is just the feeling of pressing an idea to the page in whatever form it fits. For me, drawing is a form of thinking. To return to ‘why I draw’- I suppose it is partly born of a need to liberate the visions locked inside my head.
I find that drawing acts as a way of setting free certain ideas. I like that it allows me to get lost in the world I am creating. Most of all, it is the excitement I get from starting a new drawing and the possibilities that I perceive.
“I am looking forward to the chance to pursue my ambitions in third level in Clonmel next week,” said Jack as he signs off with a flourish and a quote from American cartoonist, Robert Crumb:
“Subconsciously I want to make myself immortal among men, leave my mark on the earth to compensate for social inadequacy… So I draw.” R. Crumb.
Jack Roche is contactable on: 083 45 26 218