Hang-Ups! Irrational Fears

I was talking to a friend the other day about the drawings I do online in SumoPaint.  For me that is easy to do, most of my drawings on there are abstracts, there is no planning and if something jumps out in the drawing of a specific thing all I have to do is erase the lines I don’t need anymore.  Plus all the colors are there, I don’t need paint, markers, colored pencils, (in other words, I don’t need supplies!) I don’t make a mess, and that magic undo button is just a click away.  I was telling her about my fear of picking up a sketchbook and putting pencil to paper in a deliberate attempt to create something specific.  Why I have this fear I don’t know.  Maybe something from childhood is still there poking into my self confidence.  Like that first time that someone says “That’s not good enough.” or “Who told you, you could draw.”

To me, when you put pencil to paper, even with the eraser available, it is something permanent.  You can still see the marks left behind by the pencil lead.  You know that there was something there that was a mistake.  I have had a large sketch book now for 7 months, I have not been able to force (maybe that is too strong a word) myself to open it and put just one line on the paper.  I think that just the size of the drawing pad is intimidating to me. How do I fill up the page?  What with?  What do I draw?

So yesterday I went out and bought a small 9in X 6in sketch diary, some pencils, and some pens.

Today, during my lunch break, I opened it up and set out to make my first drawing.  I chose several art books from the library shelves for inspiration and tried to draw a face following their instructions.  To me that face fell flat, it didn’t seem realistic.  In other words, I did not like it.  So I visited my favorite drawing site Sumo.fm and one of the other artists on there had posted instructions on how to draw Anime eyes.

I sat down, followed those instructions and then continued on with the drawing and finished my first Anime face.  I think it turned out rather cute.  I started to add permanent ink to it and then stopped myself.  This was my first attempt (okay, my second) to overcome my hang-up and I decided to leave it exactly how it was drawn.

I have cracked the book, opened the door, put pencil to paper.  Applied the eraser a time or two.  I have accomplished something today that took me 7 months to attempt.  Now I just need to turn that page and create something new.  Open a brand new sheet with no limitations.  This time, I don’t think it will take me 7 months to try again.  Maybe next time I will add the ink to the drawing and make it really permanent.

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