Hey, it’s the first Wednesday of the month, so that means it’s time for the February 2013 edition of Insecure Writers’ Support Group. This time, I’m going to take the opportunity to talk about something that I’ve been learning even though I feel very insecure about it: drawing.
I’ve never felt confident about drawing or painting or much else in the visual arts. When I think of art class back in school, I remember lots of crazy conversations with my friends and classmates, but also a bit of dread as I took my assignments to the teacher to face grading and evaluation. Though I’ve found some satisfaction in doing fanart compositions over the years, those have always seemed very different from original artwork – they were all about finding something that already looked good, measuring and balancing it, as opposed to creating something from a pencil held in my own fingers.
But I was interested in the idea of being able to be good at art, at being able to actually do illustrations for my stories – if not something good enough that I’d want it to be a finished product, then at least being good enough at sketching that I could show an idea I had to another artist who could refine it and make it better. I’m a very visual thinker in a lot of ways, so it was frustrating not being able to express myself in that way as well as I could with words.
I was interested when my brother first mentioned the drawing book he’d gotten a copy of, ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’, and borrowed it when he gave me a chance to – and promptly did nothing with it, for months on end, until he asked for it back. Partly, I guess I was scared of trying and finding out that I was hopeless.
But I got the book back late last year, put starting it on my October to-do list, and actually felt excited and creative enough after the Nanowrimo kick-off party last year to finally dive in. And – well, I’m still not a good artist, I’d say, but I’m better at certain skills than I thought I was, and I’ve improved in just the few months that I’ve been working on it. If I keep working, I know I’ll keep improving, and who knows where I’ll end up?
I’ll share a few of my earliest drawings today – these are the ‘pre-instruction sketches’ that are supposed to demonstrate how much my skills improve, like the before picture. I guess I’ll be doing ‘after’ drawings once I finish the book. First, a self-portrait that I did in a mirror:
And a sketch of my left hand and arm:
Have you started to learn something that you were scared and insecure about? Or is there something creative that you’d love to learn, but you’re too insecure to start just yet?