by Andre Fredrick — RattlingChains.com staff
I have a lot of passions in my life, chief among them are disc golf and art.
Much like my disc golf game, my art has evolved over the years. As a child I had been envious of the artistic abilities of others, so I devoted a lot of time to trying to become better.
I have learned the most in my time as an artist from fellow artists, studying their approach to their own art forms, taking away from them what I could, and applying what I learned to my own style.
My high school friend Tonchi taught me a lot about graffiti style, with its fluid and swooping lines. While working on pipedream comic books with another friend from high school, Greg, I began to learn about the human figure and dynamic poses.
Tonchi and Greg proved to be my greatest artistic influences in those high school years.
The next evolution was when I decided to start designing my own tattoos. I spent a lot of time with my friend Nik, who was in his apprenticeship as a tattoo artist at the time. I learned a great deal from him and from leafing through art books while visiting him. His artwork, as well as his feedback and encouragement fueled more confidence in me.
I was pushed to try new things.
I had always struggled with tying down perspective, but I had a breakthrough and a style began to develop. Drawing inspiration from Native American art I’d encountered in the Pacific Northwest, I learned I could overcome this shortcoming by relying on negative space to make up for detail.
This epiphany led to a ton of artwork, and it began flowing out of me. Practically everyday I was putting together a new design. Some of them were bad and some of them were great. Regardless of the outcome, the important thing was I learned a little more from each one of them.
It was only a matter of time before my growing passion for disc golf found its way into the mix.
My first efforts were largely drawn from my own imagination and perception of what made up a good throw. But as I looked at the results and got feedback from friends, it became clear they didn’t reflect correct form. I began to study and examine my own technique to truly understand what my body did and looked like while throwing.
Having recently joined the PDGA, I began receiving Disc Golfer Magazine. As I was flipping through and reading articles, I realized I had a treasure trove of subjects to use for inspiration. Using these phenomenal photographs as reference, I have managed to take my art to new levels while getting an even better understanding of proper form.
Much like disc golf, drawing to me is an escape from life’s doldrums and tempests. It pulls my mind from the million-and-one other thoughts that preoccupy it.
With the proper inspiration, a sketch pad, pencil and pen at hand, I can forget it all for that moment and be alone with just a single idea and a defined objective.
Andre Fredrick is an Oregon-based disc golfer writing for RattlingChains.com. E-mail him at andre [at] rattlingchains.com.