It took me a long time to realize that while artists may seem to have an inborn talent, they actually develop their art making skills by practicing. Doodles? Practice. Sketching? Practice. Staring into space? Practice.
They work it out over many attempts. Just like a toddler toddles and then walks, artists scribble and then draw.
I tend to have a low tolerance for frustration, and accordingly I’ve never pursued drawing with serious intent. My stuff always looked awful (compared to what I wanted it to look like or thought it should look like or other people seemed to expect it to look like) so I never stuck with it in a serious way. Serious meaning take it up and practice it to develop the skill. Until now.
It’s time to do the work. For now, I am practicing drawing intentionally odd faces. The photo shows a few I did this week using assorted colored pencils, watercolor, acrylic and combinations thereof. I find it quite challenging, but also somewhat playful.
I’m a little embarassed to show you this photo. There is a definite “This is absolute garbage!” commentary running in my head. You might think that, too. But it’s really okay if you think that, because I am just learning right now.
Call me a toddler-artist. I am happy to make a big mess and play with the tools and materials. Toddlers waddle around holding the edge of the coffee table, they fall down alot at first, then one day they walk, then another day they run. Do they run the first day up on their feet?
You can probably tell which drawing/painting I created last. Sometimes I think emotion carries as much weight as pure skill. What do you think?
It can be lonely practicing on your own. So I recently accepted a secret art challenge from my Twitter friend, @JellyBeansII aka the super-energetic Jordan Hill of The Creative Artist. We will each make five pieces, and show them on June 30th in a big reveal. Oh the suspense!
If you’d like to do a challenge, let me know.