Going back to elementary school, I’ve enjoyed drawing. I used to doodle things in my notebooks when I should have been paying attention in class. For a while, I went through a pretty serious Ninja Turtle phase, but that wore off by the time I got to middle school.I didn’t really get into any art classes until I reached high school, when I was able to pick and choose which electives I wanted to take. From there I expanded the art I did from drawing to painting and even some sculpting. I took a ceramics class which allowed me to have a very productive Christmas. I made all kinds of crap for my relatives: bowls, vases, statues, jewelry boxes. I wasn’t too shabby with a lump of clay.
Painting was fun, but I never really got a firm grasp on it. Most of what I remember about the painting class I took had to do with the student teacher that was in there for most of the semester. Kinda had a thing for her, but I’m sure I’ll get to that in a Life Story post somewhere down the line.It seems like it always came back to drawing, though. That’s the thing I enjoyed most about art. Over the years, off and on, I’ve gotten back into drawing. For a while, I wanted to get good enough to become a comic book artist. I mean, how cool would it be to draw Superman for a living? But I gave up on that. I realized that I definitely wasn’t talented enough for that.
But I’ve also realized I’m my own worst critic. A lot of the time I’ll draw something and then just want to trash it, because it doesn’t live up to the standards I set for myself. Those standards are based on the work that other artists have done. I shouldn’t just expect to be that good right out of the gate.
A problem I have is with the “how to” books. You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re the instructional drawing books that show you how to draw a cartoon turtle or something equally lame. And it gives you the step by step diagram beginning with some seemingly random circles, then a couple images later you have a fully fleshed out cartoon turtle. I never did understand that stuff. I didn’t want to draw the outlines and the faint shapes that would turn into the finished image. I just wanted to draw the finished image.
I still just want to draw the finished image. And even though I can see the picture in my head, I just can’t seem to translate it onto the page. This becomes a problem for me now as it’s been suggested that I write and illustrate a children’s book.
It’s actually been suggested by several friends and acquaintances over the years. I’ve even tried designing some characters that have a cartoony look to them, but they all just turn into some pretty crappy drawings. I’m starting to think I should just draw the stuff and stop second guessing myself. If it’s good enough, someone else will just tell me. If it’s not, a real friend would tell me that, too. It’s a work in progress.