How to Make Drawing Fun
I love to draw! I have had a pencil in my hand from the time I was a small child (barely able to hold it properly) until today many years later (I won't tell how many). I have always been fascinated with the notion of portraying an object with lines, marks, and "shadows." I have received excellent training in my drawing career. My first teacher was my grandmother, who used to draw for me when I was young. I would ask her to draw something and she would lovingly (but under the protest, "I can't draw" - more about that later) obey my wishes and draw whatever it was that struck my fancy at the time. At that point in my life, I was also a big fan of the "Magic Drawing Board" on Captain Kangaroo (does anyone else remember that?). As I grew older I had the benefit of excellent art teachers who encouraged the development of my skills.
"It takes great passion and energy to do anything creative." - Agnes DeMille
Now, back to my grandmother's "I can't draw" comment. My observation has been that when you ask any five-year-old child if he or she can draw, they will resoundingly say "Yes!" and proceed to proudly show their talents. Now ask a vast majority of adults the same question they will overwhelmingly answer, "No!"
The real question is, what changed? What life experiences have caused so many people to abandon drawing as a pleasurable activity? I'm sure the causes are many, and I'm certain that negative remarks from others plays a role. A more important factor, however, is the relentless self-criticism people engage in when they try to draw. People (adults) are way too afraid to make a mistake!
One of the best art teachers I ever had (Mr. Raymond Knaub) once told me, "Drawing is nothing but a series of corrections." This is so true! When you set out to make a drawing, just get started - look at your results - then work to improve it. When you draw (or pursue creative expression in any form), be kind to yourself! It takes courage to express one's inner voice, especially to then share that expression with others. That part of ourselves is vulnerable and needs to be nurtured, not battered about with unrealistic expectations and impatience! Every effort made in the journey toward artistic expression, in this case through drawing, should be celebrated and appreciated as part of a growth process. The more you practice, the more your drawing will improve.
Each drawing I create and every drawing I've seen others make is a unique and wonderful glimpse into the inner world of the artist. We miss so much when we shut this great creative activity out of our lives!
"Go on working, freely and furiously and you will make progress."
- Paul Gauguin