I Thought I Couldn’t Draw

In the third week of a drawing class I’m taking I had a creative epiphany, and I’d like to share it with you—it’s a really good one.

This is the second drawing class I’ve taken in my lifetime; the first was a beginning drawing class at an art retreat that was taught by Barbara Roth, whose artwork has been featured in Cloth Paper Scissors.

Daffodil drawing
This is two daffodils in a vase. Are you seeing it?

I should explain that I’m one of those creative people who can’t draw. I mean really can’t draw. At all. I was the worst student in art class in elementary school, the one whose work the teacher would evaluate with a heavy sigh and a slow shake of the head. I’d look at my friends’ work with deep envy, wishing I could draw a tree that looked like a tree, instead of a misshapen green lollipop.

Cookies and a jar. Yes? No?
Cookies and a jar. Yes? No?

I eventually channeled my creative self into mixed-media art, thrilled there was something that didn’t require drawing. But through the years something kept nagging at me: Wouldn’t it be great if I learned how to draw, and I could add a drawing to a collage, or use those books I make as sketchbooks?

As a dare to myself I signed up for Barbara’s class at the retreat—what did I have to lose? She ably took us through some easy techniques that made me realize for the first time that drawing was within reach. I drew a pig that looked like…a pig!

Box, flowers, jug
Box, flowers, jug

But soon the inner voice returned and I retreated into my I-can’t-draw mindset. That is, until my husband recently decided to sign up for a drawing class and asked if I wanted to join him. Remembering the success I had in Barbara’s class I said yes. My heart was thumping during the first session—I was terrified I’d be the worst one. Again.

These are my drawings are from the class, which is taught by the very talented artist and instructor Charlotte Kaplan. What I’ve created so far is not great art by any stretch of the imagination, but for me these charcoal drawings are incredible—to draw a flower that looks like a flower? Never thought it would happen. And that’s when it dawned on me—I had simply convinced myself over the years that I couldn’t draw. By constantly comparing myself to others, by not ever trying, I had locked myself in a room and thrown away the key.

My new best friends
My new best friends

I realize I’m preaching to an adventurously creative crowd, but perhaps there’s a technique you’ve always wanted to try, but told yourself you couldn’t do it. Maybe it’s making something with stitch, or making encaustic art. Or drawing a face, or making a book.

Start convincing yourself you can. Check out the Art Journaling Live Complete Collection and start an art journal today. Download a copy of Faces magazine and draw a portrait. Try our Year of the Doodle kit and see how much fun it is to add doodling to your artwork. Get over your block about hand lettering and try one of our Lettering Lessons.

It’s time, don’t you think? Find the key and unlock the door.

Words to live by
Words to live by

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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