Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Art Jail is not a Thing

Blank pages & I don't get along.  They are my kryptonite.  I am so paranoid about creating crappy art that putting pencil to the paper is ridiculously hard.  I know I keep saying skill level doesn't matter - just do it.  But, I hold myself to this insane standard of perfect, whatever that is.  Awhile back I spied something on Pinterest I knew I needed to read and I pinned it for later.  Later was two days ago.  It was Super Obvious Secrets that I Wish They'd Teach in Art School by Phil McAndrew at  Quite motivating and full of excellent advice.  Phil mentioned another article he'd written - Draw Like A Six Year Old.  . . . Wow. . . . . That one knocked me down, stuck a pencil in my hand and said "DRAW - RIGHT - NOW!" . . . so I did.

Here's a snippet:
What's the worst thing that can possibly happen when you make a bad drawing? The worst thing that can possibly happen is that everybody dies.  
WAIT, NO. Nobody dies! Nobody will die if you draw something and it looks like crap. The police won't come and say "jeez, that's a pretty terrible drawing of a dinosaur with a rocket launcher attached to it's head, I'm afraid we're going to have to drag you off to art jail." Nothing bad happens when you make a bad drawing. The absolute worst thing that happens is that you learn something. You grow a little bit. You get better at drawing.
This reminds me of a forum conversation in which a newcomer was asking seasoned artists what type of sketchbook is best.  This advice stood out: "Don't worry so much about what you draw on.  You have about 1,000 awful drawings in you before you get to the good stuff.  Just start."  

Back to Phil - He points out when we were kids we loved to draw.  Drawing figures or stories or just scribbling on the page was fun.  We drew without fear!  We can recapture that.
Drawing is fun. I encourage everyone to doodle, not just aspiring illustrators and designers with MacBook tunnel vision. Drawing is one of the most human things you can possibly do. Doodling is extremely healthy. It's okay to scribble. It's okay if your skills aren't on the same level as your vision (they'll catch up if you stick with it). It's okay if you don't have the skills to draw anything more difficult than simple shapes. It's okay to make really bad drawings. It's okay to draw like a six-year-old.
Every human being should read this article!  It's long, but definitely worth it.  He says so well what I keep trying to explain and what I need to tattoo on my brain.  Seriously, right now - go read this and then draw or doodle or scribble.  Go ahead, do it!  Draw like a six year old!

1 comment: said...

Artist Jail, LOL.

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