INKtober 9 – Like Drawing Birds In Flight

“It’s scary not loving the job that everyone thinks we should love. It’s terrible waking up and feeling like what you love is a burden.” I wrote this on a post-it note sketch I did earlier this summer and has been a theme this year in both my personal and professional life.

Doing the thing that I love most in the world often makes me anxious. This is something that is looked at as fun, and magical, and easy because drawing is a talent that artists are born with. It’s something that I’m supposed to be good at. My family’s relying on me to be successful at this, so I need to get this project done right. I need to get this project done quickly, on the first try…with little or no preparation, and it has to be good. There’s no room in my schedule for mistakes.

As this INKtober project progresses, I find myself taking on more complex subjects. I’m taking on harder subjects that move more. I’m taking on subjects that are able to actually tell me that I didn’t do a good job at drawing them. Thinking about drawing these things makes me anxious. I find myself casting around for a different idea, one that I feel more comfortable with.

I can still push myself way out of my comfort zone with out making it more difficult than necessary. It’s hard enough drawing birds without trying to drawing birds in flight. What I’ve ended up doing instead is adjusting my approach to the drawing.  I’m putting down quick guidelines to find the relationships between parts first. If I need to, I take a picture to reference later in case my subject moves, or in case I do. I have these tools that I can use if I need them. They’re there to make my job possible. It’s not cheating. It’s okay to use them. That’s part of the process.

“I haven’t done this before, but I’ve done other things I haven’t done before, before. And it came out okay, so I’m not afraid of this.”
-Louis CK

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