Sense of Self
Comments 2

The Space Between A and Z

Today I woke up eager to doodle.  It is a nice feeling to have that urgency for activity back again.  Since the weekend hit, I’ve been excited about jumping out of bed and getting my hands busy in preparation for a new project. I am even blogging again, starting with an ongoing short Summer Stories series to catch you all up on what’s been up with me (gasp!!!).  Might I even start writing Snippets weekly again?  Oh my goodness, we shall see!!!

I have lately been playing with doodles in a sketchbook, something I used to do in childhood, and focused on years later the summer of ’01 in an art program in Marin.  I never shared my figure drawings nor student portraiture outside of class thinking they were so mediocre compared to real art from legitimate artists. I made the amateur mistake of comparing my summer-old beginning to another’s decades-long career middle.   I don’t want to make that mistake anymore. It’s not like I aspired to be a professional artist, and see now that instead of dropping it altogether, I could have kept drawing as my instructor encouraged me to but I didn’t.

After seeing how much fun every one else seemed to be having with their drawings, patterns and sketchbooks on Instagram and Creativebug, I decided I wanted to start dabbling in the doodle. I know where I stand skill wise, and I know where I’d like to be, but like with anything else in life that interests us, I can’t get there without some good old fashioned practice and continued self study of the things I’d like to create.

I love my Japanese drawing book. Marked with sticky notes, all I’d like to draw today is this matryoshka.

My attention has been captured by the simplicity of little cartoon sketches. On happy mail, on patterns, on stamps, on stationery, and in travelers’ notebooks, these flat line drawings have completely enamored me.  How cute it all is, and how happy I am when I look at them.  How much happier I will be when I can draw them!

Enthusiastic about grabbing a pencil, here is this morning’s first practice page  …

It's so bad

It’s so bad.  The irony of using a pencil saying ‘Adorable’ for something so bad.  I even gave up for a minute and did cut outs which were equally pathetic.

… absolute fail. Granted, it was one of the first things I did this morning.  I can’t believe I am sharing it here, but I am hoping it will make you feel less bad about that paper you’re unable to write or the chords that still sound flat on the piano. Every activity needs a warm up.

Persevering with practice minutes later with my micron 05 pen. Page two is better than today’s page one,  … I’ll get there.

What makes me really happy is that I look forward to trying. I  hope that I will remember how to get the proportions right and be able to execute the lines and patterns I see in my head. They don’t look great, but I am glad I am at least doing it. Perhaps in a year I will feel embarrassed about the attempts I am proud of today. Or maybe whatever I create and hate now will look better to me when time passes. The beauty of a creative side project, is that when you pursue it, it can lead to something greatly unexpected. Let’s all stop criticizing our efforts in drawing, writing, cooking, public speaking, instrument playing, model building, sewing, etc, and just keep striving. Whether you are starting fresh, or trying to resume after years away from it, one thing remains the same: there is a wide space between Point A and Point Z, no matter where you are. Every effort counts, and the pursuit is worth it. We may as well continue to narrow that space. We can only get better.

“Show up, show up, show up, and after a while, the muse shows up too.” 

-Isabel Allende


  1. jnnfrcyl says

    Doodling is so fun! I’m glad you’re getting back into it. It’s been quite a while since I’ve doodled, myself!

    • I hope you start dabbling in the doodle again too! With all of the coloring & workbooks out there & access to great pens it’s pretty engaging. Thanks for the comment & for reading!

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