Sunday, 12 February 2017

We Can All Be Artists

Today was "one of those days". That's my general term for "something big or small didn't go quite right today". I generally had a nice time, ate some comforting food and drank a lot of tea, but art-wise I was having a lot of doubts.

"You are not good at art"
"You will never be an illustrator"
"Quit now"

I sat there with a pencil and a blank piece of paper and stared at the off-white surface until my vision went blurry. I kept making marks, adding lines I thought I wanted and I had to keep erasing them and getting incredibly frustrated. I learned a lesson today that I re-learn every other day - you should not try and be like everyone else. I spent so long trying to create something beautiful I'd seen others make, recreating images in my head of elaborate scenes with realistic faces and intricates landscapes. There's nothing wrong with me trying these things, I still believe I should practice them as much as I can to achieve my full potential, but it is also important to think about style. My drawings do best when I draw in my own style and when I'm not trying to be like someone else. My mom brought up the excellent example of Quentin Blake. His drawings, though unconventional and not based on realism, are incredibly good. They are wonderfully suited to Roald Dahl's wonderfully silly worlds of fiction, or I least that's my opinion. 

I shrugged my shoulders, worked through this confidence boosting process in my mind, and drew how I felt and how I looked at that moment. I was sat in bed in my boyfriend's hoodie, Garfield pyjamas and socks that kept slipping off, which were incredibly fun to draw. 

Is my art perfect? Not by most standards.
Is it perfect for me? Yes. 

Though I am a terrible perfectionist and I will never be fully happy with my art, it is something that brings me joy and that has evolved so much over the many years I have been drawing that I can't possibly toss it aside. 

If you want to pursue anything in life, do not allow others to tell you it is unrealistic or not worth pursuing. Make yourselves happy :) 

- Lauren Newman a.k.a shrInking violet

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