Today I thought I’d share a few little snap shots from my drawing journal and a little bit of what’s been happening there during the past month. My drawings or rather sketchy and sometimes whimsical scribbles are nothing fancy, they’re unrefined, and sometimes even include colour studies, words and inspiration. My journal is about freedom and expression; a place to be me.
It’s all a bit random and jumbled at times. Pages are usually an array of little drawings, of inspiration and words to remind me of thoughts or places. But, the great thing about this little journal is that it allows me to practice drawing, recording patterns and line types, shapes and form, any little bits of inspiration that connects me to my pen or pencil and ultimately allows me to develop ideas and designs for cards and illustrations to be printed.
I love looking back through my drawing journal, being reminded of places, things I’d seen, moments, thoughts and even emotions. There’s often wonderful stories to be found in between the pages of a drawing or art journal.
Just recently however, I began to feel quite nervous for some reason about drawing. This threw me completely as usually I do it without thinking. It’s even a form of relaxation, daydreaming and thinking through things for me. The problem was that I was thinking too much about what would be once I put that mark on the page instead of allowing to be what may. The more I thought about it and the possibilities that could arise from this one simple action, the more I put it off. Then before I knew it my simple mindless pleasure of drawing was no longer a pleasure, it became a fear, a little form of anxiety and I began to avoid it.
This was all very short-lived, thankfully. However, I was totally thrown by how such an initial silly little thought in my mind could become a real anxiety for me. I kept thinking how stupid it was, but just directing my thoughts to that negative pattern of thinking only made it worse.
I began to voice these little changes and I was given some simple, but affective advice. Advice that should have been obvious to me, but wasn’t at the time. I was to draw every day. It didn’t matter how little, how much, or how terrible or unrefined it may be, I just simple had to draw something every day.
I took that home with me and began to put it into action. I thought what if I don’t want to draw one day? Well…I will make the effort to at least do a squiggle of lines or shapes if need be, or a smiley face to remind me of the essence of this task. That being to free myself up and remind myself of my love of drawing and that it shouldn’t be a chore. This process has allowed me to be free again when I draw. I am able to simply practice my drawing, practice it freely without hesitation, to be in that mindless gap where you’re simply doing and ultimately with a bit of luck creating.
Do any of you struggle from time to time in your work or creative pursuits with road blocks or what I tend to call head blocks? How do you move through them? It’s so valuable to have a little toolbox in your head of ways to make it over these little hurdles we come up against during our creative pursuits. I would love to hear your experiences.
Happy drawing to those who do,