Do you need a reason to draw?
Have you set in motion a resolution to draw more, make more art, write more, get better at painting or some other creative journey?
We are in the time of year for resolutions.
For some the resolution is loose weight, or make more money, or find a new job. In the circles I travel in, many people want to up their art practice, they want to draw better, or build on a skill that could make a difference in the art they make. This is all great. But I am also noticing that some people feel like there is a noose around their neck forcing them to think that they must draw and create or else they are not an artist. Or worse, not a worthy human being.
The best reason to draw is because you want to. You have something to say that is best expressed in ink and paint.
Still, you’re stuck. I can relate. Even if I used all my art supplies all year long, I might still have some supplies left over in 2020. Except sketchbooks!
Suzanne Gibbs ©2018, Face Detail, sketchbook page.
Last year when this happened to me—feeling stuck, blue, wanting to give up my creative practice—I simply decided to fill one sketchbook as messy as possible in one month. An anything goes mess. Some days I did nothing. Other days I furiously filled many pages. Then, at some point I began to draw over and even paint over previous days work. Essentially censoring myself or obliterating whatever it was I had to say.
Interestingly when I shared the work on-line the comments I got were that I am not at all messy! This was not what I expected, at all.
What I learned from the experience (I did several months in a row like this) was that I had some pent up emotions that needed a place to land. I used a lot of Stabilo woody crayons (child-like), collage (cutting up and putting things back together), and black or blue paint (moody).
The point is: I showed up as me to fill the pages.
I did not get all hung up in my head about who I think I should be as an artist. I did not project the idea of perfection in my voice. That monkey brain tried to tell me that I was wasting my time. I was simply keeping a promise to myself: fill a sketchbook as messy as possible in one month.
Of course some days I felt like I was wasting my time, I did the work anyway.
Now my sketchbooks are getting more “pretty” again. More focused and more drawing practice. Fine, this is good for now. And I will be OK with that time when I need to get moody and messy on the page again.
Give yourself permission to scribble like a child would, it is ok!
And if I haven’t sparked your desire to draw, maybe this article will!
Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, Grid Face Fancy Hat, mixed media, 4 x 6 inches.
Thanks for reading, and please share your work with me! Anytime, anywhere.