Drawing from the heart.
It’s a phrase I learned at a young age I believe started by my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Brown. She had passed out to the class blank sheets of paper, some colored, some white, and instructed us to draw whatever we wanted. As I stared at that white paper my thoughts and my imagination became just as blank. Mrs. Brown came up and asked me, “Why haven’t you drawn anything?” I replied, “I don’t know what to draw.” She replied, “Oh that’s easy, just draw from your heart whatever you want.”
Yeah that made no sense.
So instead I drew what I could see. I drew pictures of my classmates sitting in front of me. I drew the door to the classroom. I drew the chalkboard in front of the room. And even though the drawing began to represent those objects, I never felt like an artist because I couldn’t draw from my imagination. I felt like a fraud.
I had the hardest time understanding what “drawing from the heart” meant for a long time. Past through the teenage years, through college, even up until recently it’s been very difficult for me to connect mind and heart to anything in my life. I have such internal struggles anytime I attempt to be creative or to try to use my imagination. If I had known then what I know now, I’m pretty sure art school would’ve been a very different experience. I know now there exists a disconnect that has kept those two halves, mind and heart, away from each other. Two sides fighting each other in order to establish their own right as sole owner of my motivations. An obstacle that has made is almost impossible to display any true, feeling-based creativity, that which exists beyond surface level.
But through different experiences and trials I can say I finally have access to the heart. I found that part of myself that can feel emotions deeply. I’ve been able to create abstract paintings and sketch from my imagination. And guess what?
It’s filled with pain.
All this time I thought if only I could draw from the heart, how beautiful my pieces would be! But is this the real journey I am on, trying to find beauty in pain? How do I do that? How can I take all that I’ve experienced in life and bring that to the surface, to represent me? Is art just a way for me to express my emotions and my pain or is it a way to mirror your own? Each artist around you, well the good ones, they are ripping their heart out and throwing it on paper or a canvas for the public to see, making themselves vulnerable to criticism, to rejection. And I believe it’s truly because as artists, if we don’t create then we die.
Art is in our veins, in our blood. It manifests itself in our personalities, our mannerisms, in our choice of what we put on in the morning, and in who we surround ourselves with. I feel like my identity as a true artist happened when I painted my first abstract picture, about 2 years ago.
So okay, then if this is the way to become a better artist, so be it.
Bring on the pain.
You could say I’ve been busy.
In fact I’ve been going through older drawings continually trying to find clues as to what I really like to draw, instead of what I’m good at. During my search I found a picture I sketched of Coco Rocha many moons ago from the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. I decided to look up her FB page and post the picture…just because. Here it is: (you can also find it on my FB page Nefairious Design)
So we’ll see what comes from that.
Next I decided my drawing of the day would be more than one person. Found a magazine photo and sketched it, fairly straight-forward in the scribble pen and ink style of my last drawing.
Here it is.
Perhaps I can get that dollar for it…
I’m happy to say I have been drawing / sketching daily since I made my promise with all of you.
However I’m finding the more I create, the deeper I get into myself. True, I find my imagination is already expanding in ways I never thought it would. But it seems like the stronger I get and the more determined I am to keep going, there is a part of me that wants to hold me down. It tries to keep me where I am, in a state of pure inactivity. Perhaps it could be that section of your brain that prefers to be lazy or it may be some deeper truths I need to face.
Either way it’s been a bit of a struggle.
So to push through this obstacle I went back to my original daily list of exercises and came up with Creative Bliss Day 2: 11 Ways to Spice Up a Team Brainstorm. Once again, it really didn’t have any relevance to me so I had to read in between the lines. I chose: Create a picture that sums up your day.
That’s a good way of looking at it.
But think about it, if I spend even 30 days practicing a craft I’ll automatically be better than I was when I started. So yes you are now seeing the worst sketch.
Of course when I sat down, I hit a creative block. So I began to look for ways to think and see differently on the interwebs. I eventually found this, 30 Days of Creativity Exercises
The first step is called “The Peep Challenge.” Apparently you are supposed to buy some Peeps and create something with them – a diorama, collage, a graveyard- anything. However since it’s not April and there aren’t a plethora of Peeps, I took it to mean: Play.
So I let my inner child out and gave her permission to draw, using the most child-like tools I could find – markers. The only rule I had for her was she couldn’t draw with her right hand. Nope, only the left. Needless to say it’s a scribbled mess full of bright colors, similar to what I would’ve done as a little girl. However when I was done with that, I grabbed another piece of paper and created the sketch above.
Not bad for the worst drawing of the year.