Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cultivating a New Habit

So, my job is graphic designer and illustrator, which I love. But I had gotten into a really bad habit of only working when there was work to be done. Somehow over the years, I stopped drawing for fun. Last summer, my daughter brought home a summer art challenge and thought it would be good for me, too. The first thing on the list that caught my attention was zentangle, which I just love so much! Doodling with no purpose except to have fun - it seems like such an obvious practice, but I hadn't been doing it!

That new technique warmed me up to keep going, and over the last few months, I've started drawing every day. Sometimes, I use prompts ...

Often, I'll use things that happened during the day ...

Sometimes, a special occasion ...

And when my brain is too stuffed up to think straight, zentangle is always a happy no-pressure treat.

I've been uploading artwork regularly to Instagram, and finding a little like-minded virtual community has been delightful.

Okay, truth: I still don't actually get to draw EVERY day, because, life. But, another truth: I WANT to, and that's the revelation! My current favorite routine is to sit down at my desk with tea around 2:00. It's when my office is about to get the sunniest, I've got half an hour before the big kids get home, and if something really gets me going, I can keep working until elementary school pick up.

It's been a year and a half to get to this point, and in that time I've filled a couple sketchbooks, which I haven't done since college. I used to fear sketchbooks, wanting the work that goes inside it to be amazing. I now realize that working in sketchbooks makes me more thoughtful and put a little more time into the work which, guess what? Makes it better. (What a concept, I know!!!) I've also been learning more about supplies and materials and have a new love for markers and am even planning to invest in an artist-grade set (ka-ching, but I can't wait). I now get such a thrill out of the idea that Hey! That page used to be blank, and now is filled with artwork that didn't exist in the world 30 minutes ago ... made only by my hand/mind/heart. It's ridiculously satisfying.