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May 22, 2015

Friday, October 5, 2012

Drawing When You Don’t Think You Can

Swooping Dragon Sketch. March 9, 2012.
Seven months later - I’m still amazed I was able to draw this dragon. Painful memories fill too much space in my head, for example the time directly surrounding when this was sketched. Suffice it to say, something bad happened, then I went to live somewhere a girl never wants to have to go, and it was not a good environment for me in there. Thankfully, circumstances allowed me to leave after only a few days. While there, I did not feel up to doing anything creative.

Somehow I made myself pull out the mini sketchbook and loosely sketch in the dragon’s frame. When I started it, I had zero motivation, save boredom and the desire to get my mind off of what ailed me. While that’s enough to start a drawing, it’s not enough to get beyond the basic framework of a drawing.

At the completion of the framework, I was sure I’d have to stop. As I said, I was very upset and had pitiful little motivation to create, but more than that my hands were shaky, and my coordination was extra bad. Suddenly, the person sitting next to me started taking notice of what I was working on. Other people began to drift through the kitchen and watch for a bit. While I filled in details, they were asking questions, complimenting my art, and some wanted to see more of my artwork.

Usually people watching me draw makes me uncomfortable and awkward at best. This was too, but somehow encouraging. It became fun and encouraging enough to actually finish the dragon.

By setting aside my usual discomfort at an audience while drawing and giving myself more time to warm up to it, I wound up feeling better than I would’ve otherwise. Sometimes starting a drawing cold does warm up and work out. That’s a little rare in my case. Normally, when I feel awful, it requires some kind of outside influence to push me to do more than sketching layouts and frameworks. Be it encouragement from people wandering by, or a getting a good phone call or text. Once in awhile, watching TV or a movie while drawing provides the genuine mood boost needed to give me that extra push.

Occasionally, frameworks and layouts drawn cold or drawings that couldn’t be finished in the original sitting do eventually get finished. A single session for a piece is preferable but not always feasible.

As an artist (and writer, etc.) it’s important to work on my projects and pieces regularly. It’s not always do-able, often enough it’s wiser to let it alone for the day, but the thought is always there. Though I generally feel proud of myself and my accomplishment when I finish a project or a chunk of it, there’s an extra oomph to having done so when I didn’t think I could.

Truth be told, I didn’t feel up to writing this blog entry. But I’m trying to build up my frequency of working on my projects, including this blog. Fortunately, I had a starting point to spring from. I have some basic blog ideas noted, and I have some snapshots from my sketchbook prepped too. So I just selected the one that chronologically should come next. I opened the blog draft writer that’s on my computer, then inserted the picture. While staring at it, trying to come up with a title and topic, I thought about the process for drawing this dragon. Then it just flooded out. Normally, though there isn’t much to say about most drawings…

Do you sometimes continue trying to work on some art when you really are not up to it? Are you able to turn cold drawing into hot drawing? Yes, technically that is writing terminology but it applies to art too, nonetheless.

Who else loves drawing dragons? Anyone else have trouble making their sketchbook obey some kind of routine?

The creative process seems to have whims of it’s own and a rebellious attitude towards pithy things such as schedules and routines…

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