10,000 DRAWINGS... will give you such a crick in the neck!

I always get excited when someone takes an interest in my artwork. I get even more excited when that person also likes to draw but needs some encouragement. It really is about convincing yourself it’s okay to draw and not be where you want to be. It should be exciting- it’s like looking out the window and getting ready for a roadtrip! I don’t mean to sound trite- but it really is about the journey. I had heard somewhere that we have 10,000 bad drawings in us, and it’s up to us to get them out. It’s similar to the 10,000 hour rule- spend 10k hours practicing a skill to become world class. I believe it. For me, it will probably be 30k… but that’s all on me.

I had realized something recently- and it’s taken me a long time to come to this conclusion… but if anything, it’s this: Art is more than the final result. You must ENJOY the method.

You have to like the act of actually doing it! The art is secondary to the act of putting pencil to the paper- of putting paint to the canvas. Once you find that feeling, then the rest is easy… you’ll do it because you enjoy it.

One thing, though, is it becomes difficult when you’re not supported by your loved ones. And being tolerated is not the same as support. That said, you have to do it anyway. If it’s a problem with them, they are the ones that are the problem. Doing the art becomes an act of courage- to overcome the guilt they inflict. That’s the hardest thing to do. And it goes back to the first thing- you have to do it because you have to want to do it, you have to enjoy the process. Even if you can’t do it at home, find a place to do it outside of home- whether it be on a lunch break or take a day off and make it a day for yourself.

Then there’s the whole thing of comparing yourself to others. First off, it’s not fair to you or even to the other person. Your experiences are completely different, and you’ll be on different stages of your journey. Personally I find this very hard. There are so many artists I want to draw like, but then I must realize none can draw like me. I am always striving to get better, but I have to learn to love what I draw. And, after many, many, many years of drawing, I do!

I see a lot of younger incredible artists with amazing ability- but most of the stuff out there looks the same. Disney or Anime inspired. Technically they’re gorgeous, but it’s all the same voice and none of it is distinctive. It’s good to start somewhere, I suppose… but why do I feel like they’re all imposters? Controversial statement? Maybe, but it’s controversial because it hits a nerve. The point is that I want to see some fresh individualism. And there is some of it, and I RESPECT it when I do see it.

But back to wanting to draw. Keep a sketchbook with you as much as possible… even a small pocket-sized one. Learn to draw with implements that scare you- like ball point pens. No one has to see your work. Have fun with it. Play in the sandbox. None of it matters… just keep doing it. Eventually, your newer work will look better than your older work. And, if you structure your art with some good old knowledge, you’ll be THAT much further along.