Sunday, December 18, 2011


I've started work on my aunt's book. I've gotten three pages done, and I'm aiming for 12. My drawing style has always been cute and childlike, cartoony really. So this is something that is working out nicely for me. It feels good to draw again. It's like riding a bike, I guess.

Though I'm shaky. I used to have a much more fluid hand. I'd sometimes draw a person without having any idea what they were going to look like and make the decision on the spot as my pen moved across the page. Now I'm more unsure and less confident.

So strange what being young can do for your ability to learn. I mean, it's not strange. It's science. Your brain isn't fully developed yet. The things you learn as a kid have the benefit of neurons going crazy and making new connections to help you along the way. When I draw now it's like I can still feel the connections my hands and brain made together as a child, but it's weaker.

Learning to draw as an adult, or even as a teenager I think leaves you somewhat disadvantaged. Not that you're out of luck, but that you have to work harder. But that's the same in many things, like music or dance. Certain things you learn as a kid you sort of hardwire into your brain and body and you can draw on it later without strain. Though I'm a little rusty, and despite not having been at the drawing board for years, I can still watch my hands do, more or less, what they know how to do. It's very encouraging.

I have these lovely new markers at my disposal. I'm unpracticed in them, but one thing I learned as a kid and as a teenager as I dove into new mediums: confidence is half the battle. If you have an artistic ability, you can figure it out as you go. The lessons learned from one medium will translate in some way to another, if you have the courage to try. Having faith it'll work out goes far.

I want 2012 to be a year of artistic revival for me. I want to reopen that part of myself I let go dormant. Art school sort of quieted me. I actually learned a significant amount of things and it was valuable, but it shut me down. Eight years later, I'm feeling ready to try again. Less about making a living, more about personal fulfillment. I can be an artist as a person; I don't have to be an artist as a profession. What I do to pay the bills need not be what defines who I am.

Lovely thought.

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