Wednesday, 8 June 2016

I can't draw

I consider my creative and artist, but there are days when I still look at my creation and decide it’s not good enough, it isn’t representative of what I had in mind and it doesn’t reach the standards of other creatives and artists.

These are exactly the thoughts and emotions that came up when I was in school when my friend would say ‘you’re copying me,’ when in fact everyone had the same brief! Or another friend would look at my piece and scowl derisively. These comments and reactions made me doubt my own creativity, then and now. Those thoughts and feelings are not unusual for anyone, of any age who is asked to be creative; to pick up a pen and represent something on a page. We are culturally conditioned to be not good enough and to not compare favourably to anyone else. In an achievement-based society so much has to be improved or goals need to be reached.

So where to start? If you have that nagging feeling that you would like to doodle, draw, paint or sketch, then I say go for it. The thoughts will still be there…’you don’t compare,’ or ’that’s not good enough,’ or maybe ’are you seriously telling me that is supposed to look like a ———?!’
The whole courageous act of picking up a pen is enormous. The best way to start is to challenge yourself and either show no-one what you are producing each day or only show the people you trust will understand your motive for beginning this practice. They might be inspired too!

Find the simplest materials in the form of a felt-tip or drawing pen, or a pencil. I would recommend a pen for now as you will be less inclined to erase ‘what isn’t good enough’. With a piece of paper each day, or a cheap sketch pad, the challenge can begin.

Start with drawing a different type of line each day, straight lines (without using a ruler!), overlapping lines, curved lines, follow the borders of the page or create triangle borders, like bunting. This is about feeling the pen in your hand and becoming more friendly with the process. Does it look like the image you imagined before you started? It doesn’t matter. Does it look perfect, or pristine? It doesn’t matter.
Look at nature to inspire the irregularities, every rose on a plant is not the same size, each leaf on a tree isn’t representative of perfection. We embrace the differences in nature; the perfect imperfection, and that’s exactly how the lines on your page can be viewed.

As you finish each drawing you can be proud of your courage and you can be proud of the fact that you dedicated time to opening up to your creative side. Everyone can be creative, in so many different ways, the misplaced lines, the imperfect sketches just open new doors for more creativity. Give yourself five minutes during your lunch break, or ten minutes when you could be looking through social media, each day for a week or a month and you will amaze yourself with your dedication and what you produce as the days go by.

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