Today I got out my favorite art supply and allowed myself to draw. It’s been too long.
How is it that you can start drawing as soon as you can hold a crayon? Pretty soon drawing becomes a favorite pastime and doing it is second nature. You sit at the kitchen table and draw on the backs of old company letterhead your dad brings home from the office. You arrange a new set of magic markers in rainbow order, every time you put them back into the clear vinyl package. When your parents decide to re-wallpaper the front hall, they let you and your brothers draw whatever you want on the walls (in pencil, please) before putting up the new paper. As you’re growing up, you leverage your drawing skills whenever possible, like those science fair projects that are light on the hard facts but heavy on the colorful illustrations and fancy lettering. Your friends want you to draw them stuff. You feel cool. And kinda floaty.
Eventually, after designing T-shirts for your best friend’s brother’s garage band and almost every program for the high school’s plays, you decide to become an art major. Your parents may wonder why they are paying college tuition for you to do more drawing. You wonder what it’ll be like to be in college with a bunch of other kids that can draw. Little fish, big pond. So you draw and you learn and you take your electives and you immerse yourself in art. Foundation courses, life drawing, fashion illustration. You have your successes. You have your doubts.
Long after graduation and first jobs in fashion you find yourself drawing less and less. More time in meetings, more time on the computer, less time for drawing. Sure, you doodle. You draw with your kids. You keep a sketch book for all of those goofy ideas that pop into your head. You make, you create, you design stuff. But there is no real drawing.
So you decide: this is not acceptable. You can draw and you will. You’re rusty as hell but you’re gonna go for it anyway. You’ll never let yourself forget that time you took life drawing your senior year when it finally all *clicked*. Each pose the model took was an hour long and you were lost in the zone, drawing as though nothing else existed and time stood still. And when you were done, you loved what you did. You felt elated.
Now you will draw again for yourself. Maybe not every day, but at least once a week. Drawing for drawing’s sake. Drawing to polish those skills and find that part of yourself again that made you feel cool. And kinda floaty.