I decide to learn to draw

For as long as I can remember, I have not been able to draw. It was a known thing about me, like that I can’t sing (absolutely true) or that I am tall and have dimples. When given the choice between drawing and coloring, I always chose to color. Drawing cause anxiety and stress–the empty page!–while coloring was soothing and never seemed like anything I could mess up. So long as I stayed in the lines, I was good at coloring. Nothing I ever drew matched my expectations; eventually I would abandon all attempts to learn in frustration.

It’s funny how honoring a promise to a friend can change your understanding of yourself.

My coworker Amy runs the Durham Comics Project.  Basically, Amy is awesome and since she both an awesome coworker and an awesome friend, I promised her I would draw a comic for her project. Of course–because I was afraid to draw–I waited until the last minute, then went to one of her Drink & Draws to force myself to finish the damn thing, which you can see here. I finished the comic quickly and it felt rude to get up and leave the party. So I did a couple panel passes.

And it was fun. And no one (including the many dedicated artists) commented on the fact that my stick figures wouldn’t pass a kindergarten art class.

I went back to a Drink & Draw. And back. And back. And back, for months. To my surprise, those monthly two-hour drawing sessions improved my drawing. There is a noticeable difference between my first comic and my most recent comic (this nutty thing). So I decided to take drawing lessons at the local arts council. If nothing else, stimulating one creative nerve should be good for the others.

Overcoming something I’ve always said I was bad at is scary and exciting. I explored a whole new section in Michaels, one I guess I knew existed, but had never had a reason to walk down those aisles before.

I plan to talk about my progress here on my blog (I’m also a terrible blogger, so we’ll see how this goes). Class starts on January 26th, though my first post will be about the awesome book by Lynda Barry called Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book, because the book is inspiring and you should read it.

Wish me luck!


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