The past few years I’ve been talking about doing more art, getting back into drawing, back into painting, printing, etc. And each time I manage to forget about it for awhile.
When I was in school I constantly sketched. If I finished a test early, I would sketch my classmates as they worked. While teachers lectured, I doodled. The margins of my notebooks were covered.
I still find myself doodling at work when I’m on a phone call, simple silly little sketches. But until recently I hadn’t done much more than that.
A night of insomnia started me thinking about a short story for a children’s book about an octopus and a shark. And I quickly picked up some new pens and a Moleskine notebook to keep with me at all times.
I’m trying to take my lunch breaks at work, a bit of my commute, free time at home to do little sketches so I don’t stop practicing. I’m admittedly pretty rusty, but I’m also incredibly happy putting pencil or pen to paper right now and creating little drawings.
Most of my life I was in art classes, either in school or after. I find I’ve missed that creative outlet more than I knew.
Sharing art, even silly sketches, can be a bit scary, but it also tends to keep me going and holds me accountable. So I’ve been using Instagram and Facebook to post some of the things I’ve drawn so far. And it’s helped. I haven’t stopped drawing yet.
One of the fun things that came out of this in the past week were two side projects. My wonderful friend Erika lives across the country, and we don’t get to catch up often with our busy schedules. But we try to stay in touch when we can. I posted a picture of a shark I’d drawn and she mentioned that her son, Ethan, is obsessed with them right now. And so I was suddenly drawing a shark for him.
He looks a bit more scary than I originally intended, but Ethan doesn’t sound like he’s phased by it luckily! I decided to add his name to the picture using signaling flags, so fun to draw, cut out, and string them on book-binding twine. (Echo Tango Hotel Alpha November)
And then another wonderful friend who also lives across the country, Janine, mentioned that her daughter Dahlia loves ducks right now.
I took on the challenge of drawing one for her, moving away from my ocean obsession for a bit.
And now I find I want to also work on an alphabet book. Maybe putting too many projects on my plate, but I’d rather have the ideas at ready so I can play when I have the time. I’ve loved creating these silly drawings for my friends’ kiddos, it’s an excuse for me to practice drawing and get creative. And luckily they are sweet critics who appreciate my amateur efforts.
I’m hoping to quickly fill that Moleskine with sketches, and that my skills start to come back with practice. But no matter what, I’m absolutely loving staying up too late drawing again. It feels like coming home.