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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

You can draw, I promise... also Graham Shaw says so

If you aren't a big fan of TED talks, that's totally fine, but if you're a fan of drawing, learning, or gaining new perspectives then give this video a shot. It's interactive so have paper and pen ready.

When I came across this video, I was looking for other artists to watch for speed painting and drawing tips and tricks, etc. I was in a bit of a rut (this happens with some regularity) and in order to recharge my creative juices, I have a long list of things I can do. 

If I'm restless physically, I might dance or sing or go for a walk at a park. If I'm tired and downtrodden, I might watch a good movie with lots of color and vibrancy (literally or figuratively). If I'm sitting there staring at my sketchpad and the inspiration just won't come, I turn to videos like the one above as if it were a giant bowl of fiber that I needed to consume in order to unblock my creative tubes (haha imagery). My point is, I don't have a single cure-all for my creativity droughts.

You may have noticed that I've been trying to be a bit more regular with my sketching. I tend to post in week long chunks on this blog but in person, I've been actually getting closer and closer to my goal of 'a sketch a day'. This isn't a 'creativity binge' or anything like that. My goal is not to sketch every day for a month or a year and then stop or slow down. This is simply a life goal. I enjoy drawing. It brings me peace. Why then shouldn't I at least attempt to experience it every single day?

The real reason I want to share this video, however, is because I want the world to know that everyone is creative. Everyone can draw, everyone can dance, everyone can sing. These are not special talents given by the grace of God or whomever to a select few people. Yes, not everyone can be a master painter but just like there's only one Michelangelo, there's only one you. You are the same as everyone else in the sense that you also possess that creative fire but you are also unique in that your fire is yours alone. A master artist is simply someone who's taken the time and energy to hone their craft. 

It just makes my heart hurt to have people look at my art and say something like "Wow that's so cool!" followed immediately by "I could never do that..." as if they think they're complementing me further with that second comment when in fact they're merely debasing themselves for no one's benefit. You can love an artists work while still loving yourself and your own accomplishments. 

Story time: I was babysitting a 5 year old once that understood this concept wholly and completely. We were drawing together with crayons (dragons if I remember correctly) and when we were done, we showed each other our drawings. She loved my dragon, especially the pretty scales, she said. She showed me hers and of course I said it was very nice, that I enjoyed the vibrant colors and so on, and because I took her seriously, she beamed and seemed to love the drawing even more. To be clear, she loved that drawing before I said anything. She didn't need my approval to love that dragon she had just created. It was her creation and perhaps for that reason alone, it was worth cherishing. 

But as an art teacher (in that moment, that's absolutely the role I or any other parent takes on when spending time with their kids, you're their teacher) I had to make a decision to critique her drawing or to praise it (or both). I decided to praise it alone that time because I had not real criticism to offer that I thought would benefit her that time. Other times, I offered advice with my praise and sometimes she took my advice and sometimes she didn't. She liked it just the way it was and that, for me, was the most wonderful part. We should all strive to grow as individuals but it's ok to stand by yourself, your creations, your achievements and say I'm proud of it as it stands. Of course, you can still value the criticism being offered, that person obviously cares about you in some way otherwise they wouldn't waste their time saying anything at all. 

Whoa long post today. Anyway, you do you. And be open to trying new things or new ways of doing old things. You never know how much it could help you grow until you try it. 

See below for my results from the video. The real results are still echoing every time I put pen to paper. 

With love - M

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