Lines

“A drawing is simply a line going for a walk” – Paul Klee
When a line goes for a walk, it owns the power to produce anything. When a line starts running, it owns the power to develop anything. And soon when it starts sprinting, it has the power to fulfill dreams.

Line is a continuous stretch of dots on a surface. It is the basic element of any type of drawing. In drawing lines are used as representatives of spaces, properties, objects, subtleties, etc. But when lines start representing a set of emotions, they communicate much more than what is visible to the eye. For instance, when we expect an individual to be angry we expect them to draw heavy, dark and bold lines. But couldn’t that also be the expression of extreme happiness?

Communication is the mother of subjectivities. Hence, there are many aspects to consider when analyzing lines with the aspect of emotions. Firstly, when we feel an emotion, we experience it very uniquely and disparately. Secondly, the quality, good or bad, of the emotion affects our unique experiences. Thirdly, the medium we use to draw the line also affects how it comes out. Lastly, our grip of the medium and understanding of the medium that transfers our emotions to a line affects our degree of comfort with the medium and thus our results.

When we transfer negative emotions like frustration, anger, hatred, jealously, overthinking etc. we represent them with a set of straight, curvy, wavy, dark, bold, and not easily distinguishable lines. Moreover, the character of the lines is jumbled, highly randomized and spread across the page, as if we are bursting it all out in the open. Maybe we do that because when we experience something bad, we don’t synchronize well with our environment and everything presents itself as a quest that we have to conquer. Thus, the bold lines become the problems, and the jumble reflects the inability to cope with the problem resulting in over lapping. When deciphering a line that could be a possible representation of a bad emotion, it could be looked at like a way of dealing with problems and searching for solutions but ending up in confusion and resentment because there are too many paths and too many streets. Similarly, when we see a line making a circle, we know that something is complete and fulfilled but when the circles keep repeating, it results in an endless continuation of sorts, which inevitably results in overthinking. Another striking observation when expressing bad emotions is the presence of scratched surfaces. Scratched surfaces could represent denial of the situations that one is stuck in or cannot deal with or it could represent the inability to decide upon what to do to get rid of the problem. Moreover, these emotions are also chaotic which show disruption of control over life which eventually bad emotions lead to. Plus, the characteristic of the medium also affects how emotions are expressed. For instance, I believe charcoal is a transparent material when it comes to deciphering emotions because it can either be powdery or refined. Likewise, the grip and force applied are equivalent to the intensity and quality of emotions felt. The grip and force could represent the energy required to deal with attaining peaceful synchronization of the environment and oneself.

However, when we transfer positive emotions like happiness, peace, contentment, excitement, etc. we present them as a set of straight, light, curvy, wavy, smooth, single tonal lines. Plus, their character is contained, spacious, and free. This could be the case because we are in better control of the environment around us and synchronize better with it. Of course, positive emotions involve over-thinking but there is a subtlety to it which is clearly visible through the softness and lightness of the lines. These emotions are more contained because they give out a sense of control over the environment. Another reason for containment could be the fact that the strong feeling of a positive emotion would be disrupted if thought about something which wouldn’t be related to it or contributing it; it reflects staying in the mood. Lines are spacious (more space between lines) because they satisfy our illusion of control, which means we don’t have to think about them again and again. Their freedom could mean how they aren’t connected to each other, reducing the tension associated with over thinking. Also, positive emotions are represented more rhythmically than negative emotions. There is a flow as to what is going on around us. Likewise, we become more aware of ourselves in the positivity than the negativity. Whereas, for the negative emotion, flow is constantly disrupted because our mind is occupying so many places.

Yet, the positive emotions can be deciphered in two different ways one could be the fact that the environment and we are not completely synchronized but it isn’t a big issue so the stroke is light. The other one could be thinking of situations, conditions, circumstances, ideas in a repetitive way giving birth to flow of an emotion which helps in channelizing our energies as well.

Lines take the form of words in drawing and communicate the various visualizations going inside our head. Lines are channelized through our sense of aesthetics, observation, connections and details. Lines are very powerful mediums, powerful enough to build dreams and destroy them as well. Lines are of paramount importance in determining the nature of an artist or designer. Lines are abstract representation of our thoughts, and ideas.

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