When I sit down with my sketchbook or a blank sheet of paper, the first thing I have to say to myself is,
“You’re here to have fun, not to get it right.”
Like a kid jumping off the high dive on a hot summer’s day, I plunge in with fear, excitement, freedom, and fully expecting to have a great time. This has not always been my approach. It’s a new thought, one I’m learning to embrace.
All the way back to fifth grade, I believed I had to be naturally exceptional at drawing, painting, singing, and photography, before anyone would like what I made, before I could like what I made, and honestly, before I could like myself.
I don’t know where the belief originated, whether it was passed down from a grown-up or I made it up. It has just lived in the darkness of my mind directing me everywhere and nowhere using fear, anxiety, self-perception of worthlessness, and a lack of understanding of what really matters.
It wasn’t until I came across the Draw Tip Tuesday videos of Koosje Koene, pronounced "Kosha”, that my creative beliefs began to change. Koosje encourages the viewer to draw because it’s fun. Don’t worry about straight lines, proportions, depth of field, or colors. Just draw, and draw every chance you get. Explore what you can do and what you like, that’s all that matters.
She’s right. Ever since I’ve taken her advice to draw because it’s fun, the freedom to explore, play, practice, discover has exploded in my chest. I no longer care about getting my drawings “right.” I care about having fun while I’m drawing.
I no longer care whether the end product of my drawing time is pretty or well-balanced, or if it has a good composition.
“Did I just spend the past hour having fun?” I ask myself.
”Oh yeah!”, says Self.
“Are you surprised by what you’ve learned from all the ‘mistakes’ you made?” I ask.
“Totally surprised! And happy that I gave myself the permission and opportunity to learn from them. Yeah me!”, says Self.
I don't have be exceptional. I have to be me. That's all that matters.
Thank you for coming by to read this personal essay. Feel free to leave a comment below sharing your creative journey or lack of one. I’m curious to learn more about you.
Your new friend,
P.S. If you like what you’ve read and you want to learn to love the wonkiness and natural forms of your own creations. Book a seat to any of the workshops offered at Jill McKeever’s Studio. Give yourself the opportunity to experience the freedom and joy of drawing, painting, exploring arts and crafts
because it’s fun.