my work's in the center.
Today, we all pegged three of our drawings on the wall, sat back, and gave each other feedback.
I’m no stranger to this process. I’ve been critiquing my own journal pages for years, now, being honest with myself as to what works and what doesn’t, collecting all the good things together like mythical roll-over minutes (side-note: do those still exist?), letting the good compound atop each other until now, when I’m mostly confident I’ll like the pages I create.
(This is also the ‘fake it ‘till you make it trick of live demos and uStreams.)
I also encourage this habit in my students and you, my darling readers, because everything we create has a lesson to teach us, even the worst pages we want to pass off on a small child or perhaps some magic faerie that tips bad pages into journals for fun. You know, not made by you.
There is good and not-so-good to be gleamed from everything.
Here’s the thing — you are not your art.
We’re all learning. No one can pick up a pen and draw amazingly and in-proportion on their first try. There is always room for improvement, something to learn, and something to celebrate.
What I learned today is this — I may be a pain in the ass in class, asking questions all the time, asking for advice, looking for that little nudge in the right direction, but that’s how passion shows up. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t ask. If I didn’t want to learn, I would just draw whatever I could and give up.
Yes, I had problem areas. And overlooked shadows. And only had 45 minutes for one of them, but in the long run, I’ve been having so much fun that it doesn’t matter what grade I got or where I messed up — looking at what I’d managed to create with my own two hands and an unfamiliar material (charcoal), I couldn’t help but smile and be proud.
So be that person, darlings. Ask questions. Keep searching for answers. Email the artists you love and don’t look back.
The ones who ask questions are the ones who are passionate, curious, and creative. Never forget that.