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Appreciating drawing

It is appalling how little I have updated in the past few months, and I feel like I should really stop saying that, but it’s true. I am in the middle of exams, but today I finally came to realise and appreciate something that I fancied sharing.

And that is drawing. I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, from when I was tiny doing cute little doodles like most kids, to when I was 9/10/11 and started drawing “properly” as a hobby and an interest. I’ve been doing it since then, pretty much steadily (although I have at times gone for a while without picking up a pencil), and obviously I have improved quite a lot. I haven’t yet compared my first drawing efforts to my latest, but I’d say there is probably quite a big difference. It has been about five or so years, after all.

You are probably thinking why I just told you all of that. So am I. It was just a little backstory, to show you how long I’ve been drawing for (which is a long time in comparison to my short life so far). For that whole time, I guess I took for granted the whole drawing thing– I know that sounds weird, but basically I never really appreciated how good it made me feel, and only now do I realise it properly. Whenever I draw, no matter how I am feeling before, I go into this calm, zen world, and it is wonderful. I end up feeling relaxed and calm, and I’m not even sure why.

I was actually thinking that it could be to do with the imagination part of it. If I have an idea for a drawing, there is nothing stopping me drawing it. I can create characters that look however I like, and if they don’t look right, I can just have another go. I can think up new settings and themes, and just have a go at making them come to life. I can capture some cool thing or another that I may have seen somewhere else, in my own little way. It’s great. There are an endless amount of ideas in the world, and with just a pencil and some paper I can make something pretty.

It could also be the actual act of drawing itself, and the act of finishing the piece, that is so relaxing. Just the pencil smoothly running across the paper, making satisfying lines, then when you look at what you’ve done so far you’re like ‘gosh, it actually looks like something’. Then you can ink it, and colour it in (which to me is quite annoying at the time, but I secretly love it). And then, when you’re done, you can just admire and be proud of the thing that you’ve created. It is still amazing to me that a stick of graphite, and someone with enough skill, are able to capture real life things so accurately and perfectly. Even with me, and I do not admit to having any great skill– I finish a drawing, and I am often able to say ‘wow, that looks like how I imagined it in my head’ and ‘you know what, that actually does look like quite a realistic human’. Even writing this, I am appreciating it more.

Another great thing about drawing is when you are inspired. DeviantArt is my number one place for inspiration, since it is full of amazing art, and going on there for a short time makes me want to draw and improve. I could see some interesting pose, lighting or angle, and get inspired to have a go. It is great when you try something out that you’ve never done before, and it turns out good. For example, up until literally a couple of months ago, I NEVER drew guys, because I thought that I couldn’t draw them. That is about five years, only drawing girls. Then I pushed the boat out, drew a guy, and it turned out good. Recently, I’ve only been drawing guys, to make up for the years that I have missed! One day I will draw a guy and a girl in the same drawing, and they will a) actually look like they are different genders and b) look like they were drawn with the same skill. I cannot wait for that day.

So now I know exactly what to do if I’m ever not in a good mood. Oftentimes, I find myself with an urge to draw (and ‘oftentimes’, what a brilliant word, if it’s even a real word), but I don’t act on it because I am too busy on the computer or doing something else. If I’m not in a good mood, my first thought is to go on the computer and find something that cheers me up– WRONG! There is a lot of bad/annoying/stupid stuff on the internet, and it is sometimes a gamble whether I am cheered up or find something else that puts me in a worse mood. But with drawing, when I have the urge, everything just turns out great. Even if the drawing is not perfect, I still feel happy and accomplished with what I’ve done. And when I don’t have the urge but I do draw anyway, I can be pleasantly surprised by the results, or go ‘hey, it didn’t work out this time, but it will be better the next time’. Either way, I end up feeling good, and the feeling lasts for a long time. If I’m in a bad mood and I go on the computer, it’s only a temporary distraction, I find. So, I vow that if I’m ever not in the best of moods, instead of going on the computer and Tumblring it away, I will pick up a pen and draw. If I’m on DeviantArt and I am inspired to draw, I will not keep scrolling, I WILL DRAW. If I get the urge to draw at any time, I will not ignore it, I WILL DRAW. It’s like an opportunity for guaranteed happiness, and I won’t pass that up! I can’t believe I didn’t realise the benefits of drawing for me until now, but you can be sure I am going to draw more. Then, that will make me improve, making me even happier, so it’s like a super-happy cycle of happiness. A win-win. Bliss.

Your artistic blogger, Jaz

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