Remembering How to Sketch

After all the deadlines and all the projects, when you sit down at the end of the day, do you remember what it was like to do this thing you love for fun?

I know for awhile now that I forgot.  Or rather, I just couldn’t get motivated. I escaped to the world of beading and leathercrafting because it was a way to enjoy the act of creating without doing the same thing I had been doing for the 8-12 hours beforehand.  Hobbies are essential to preserving this little thing called sanity when you’re doing what you love for a living…but find yourself at the end of the day unable to do what you love because are are just out of energy to do it.  Sad to say that most of us are not endless wells (Ursala Vernon did a wonderful article that perfectly describes this feeling)

Then I discovered SKETCHAVEMBER thanks to the talented Croaky.  It’s like NaNoWriMo, but for artists, in which we draw every day of this month in hopes of making it a continuing habit.  I finally sat down and stopped thinking so damned much about what I wanted to draw! I finally figured it out. I was placing too much on the thought of drawing. I had a mental block.

If I was going to draw, I couldn’t waste a minute on ‘fun’ things!  EVERY. Single. Thing. had to be for a prospective portfolio piece or mastering a new technicque or for a commission.  Instead, I sat down (nearly) every single night this month so far and sketched without expectation or fear.  I sketched for fun and to channel all the random ideas floating around my brain.  I went with the flow instead of wondering how every little piece would further my career or projects or portfolios.

I’ve also found it so much easier to teach myself Photoshop when I wasn’t expecting to master it in a few hours.  I could just sketch for me, and nobody else, and therefore revel in the little triumphs of discovering how this or that digital brush worked for me instead of comparing myself to others who seem to speedpaint masterpieces.

So here’s to the midpoint in SKETCHAVEMBER!  I’m so happy I discovered it and that Jen got the ball rolling for all of us. Now, have a sketch flood from this month so far!

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