Where drawings go to die

I had a friend tell me once that an artist has a finite number of bad drawings within them and it was only a matter of doing enough drawing to reach that limit.  Very poetic and a positive way to look at things, but c’mon.  I can’t believe that in it’s totality.  Even Picasso did a couple eyesores, you just never saw them (except for this crazy long documentary where Picasso paints on glass and his eyes are bulging and the music is intense and the filmmakers are practically biting their nails bloody in anticipation for the next great masterpiece only to have him chuck it and do another painting in like a minute and a half).

So I needed to get some sketches done and as I started drawing that voice that we all have in the back of my head started in “And this is how I will ruin this beautiful white page in my sketchbook”.  But instead of stopping and agreeing with said low self-esteem voice, I embraced it.  I celebrated it!  “Crappy drawing, I CELEBRATE you!”  The awkward, stiff, inflexible drawing came forth from the tip of the felt marker one of kids dropped on the floor and what I did next was a bit of an epiphany (or apostrophe – Hook).  I just kept them coming, one on top of the other until I had a sprawling field of dead drawings.  It was quiet cathartic in an abstract expressionist way.  But really, the whole exercise was process over product.  Getting over my fear of yet again not living up to my own standards and making an ugly page *gasp!* in my sketchbook.  If a sketchbook is filled cover to cover with unique and original fine tuned drawings, I have a hard time trusting that person.  I keep a close eye on my kids around them.
In essence – dedicate a couple pages in your sketchbook to be a drawing graveyard.  Warm up on those pages and then move on until you’ve stretched those muscles enough.  Big dynamic stretches people!  Don’t forget to breathe… inhale….and exhale….

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