Become obsessed with something

I’m guilty of it too. I spot something I like the look of, it sticks in my mind for a few days, I delay delay delay and finally I get round to drawing it. But that certain magical something just isn’t with me and the drawing comes out looking, well, rubbish. And there’s only one place for rubbish, so I scrumple it up and fling it in the bin. I never look back.
That poor little drawing. It could have been something. It could have been great.

Today this madness stops.

Things don’t come out perfectly first time. To get something right you’ve got to do it over and over again. Tweak it, play with it, make it shine. Fortunately, drawing is what we love and doing lots of it isn’t exactly torture for us. So here’s the challenge:

Find something that peaks your interest. It can be something complex that you want to get stuck into and understand better, or it can be something simple that you can absentmindedly doodle. Whatever floats your boat, as long as there’s something about it that draws your attention.
Draw it. Scribble it in your sketchbook, do a massive painting on a canvas. Do it however you would normally go about it. Whatever happens, do NOT throw it away.

Draw it again. Yup, keep on going. Try another angle. Use that expensive pen you bought that’s been sitting unused in your kit.

And again. Each time you do it, change something up. Don’t even worry about what it’s going to end up like. At this point you should be playing, trying things you normally wouldn’t. You see, it’s not a precious drawing that you are terrified to mess up, it’s just part of a research project helping you understand the subject better.

Put it all together. You might have them all together on a sketchbook page, in which case I bet it looks beautiful. You might even have filled up an entire sketchbook! Either way, stick them all in one place and have a good long look through them. Look at how it’s developed, what tools worked best? What angles? Then give yourself a pat on the back, because you are now one step closer to being an expert at that subject.

So now you see there is no need to scrumple up those drawings anymore. They are all just part of a bigger story that hasn’t quite been written yet. Maybe it was never meant to be a big fancy finished piece, but it would have been beautiful alongside its scribbly buddies.

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