How to be a good drawerer
My secret guide to being a good drawerer.
If I had to label myself as anything (other than with “if found, please return to”) then it would be as a writer. I admire so many writers and spend a long time appreciating their talents and trying to raise my own to roughly that sort of level.
I say this to show that I am not, and never shall be, an artist.
And oddly enough, knowing that has given me the confidence to be better than I ever thought I could be.
I realised, quite out of the blue, that the thing holding me back from doodling with any degree of skill was worry. I worried that my faces were never in proportion, that I couldn’t figure out how arms looked when they were folded or how to show someone from the side.
So before I failed at things I decided not to try.
But one day I wanted to leave silly drawings on a chalkboard for my son and realised that in order to do this I had to approach it with the honesty of a child.
Children are great at art. They make their marks and take pride in accomplishing something, finishing something.
So I didn’t hold back. I drew a giraffe sat on a chair. It was roughly identifiable as a giraffe and the chair looked vaguely chair-like. It wouldn’t get into the National Portrait Gallery but you know what? It was funny. I wrote a poem next to it just to distract the critical eyes of my son but he seemed to like both the sketch and the poem. He got what it was meant to be and I moved on to bigger and better things.
Like a bear.
I drew a bear the very next day and my son asked (in an impressed and incredulous voice) “where did you learn to draw bears like that?”
Well son, I learned by watching you.