Thursday, June 11, 2015

So you think you can't draw...

If I had a quarter for every time someone watched me draw something, sighed wistfully and said "I wish I could draw" I would ...
well I'd say I could retire, but then I'd just spend my whole life doing what I'm doing now anyway...
but I could totally buy all the markers I want at the very least!

But anyway... I want to talk to you about something sort of serious today. I use my blog to encourage creativity and as a showcase for my work but also because I think the world needs more passion for the things we love.

If I were to walk into a kindergarten class and ask "Who can run REALLY fast?!!?" Everyone is going to raise their hand.
I'm going to get demonstrations. I'm going to have to pick up 3 or 4 chairs that got knocked over with youthful, joyous enthusiasm and it's going to take a while to settle down.
Who likes to run?? Everyone will say they do. They'll say it's fun. They's screech with excitement and there will be giggles.

If I ask who can sing...again everyone is going to say "I CAN!"  I'm going to be treated to a chorus or two of Old McDonald, something from Disney and probably the latest Taylor Swift song.
I'll probably have a headache but everyone will be pleased with themselves and all smiles and laughter and that's the best sound anyway.
Who likes to sing? Again... positives all around.

If I ask who can draw, I am sure to once again here "ME! ME!" and be given a tour of art projects, paintings, sketches, I'll probably leave with things for my walls. They won't match, but they'll be beautiful.
Who likes to draw... ."ME ME ME ME!!!" from everyone

Now let's fast forward to high school. Let's say... 11th grade.
Hi! I'm here to take a poll about the things you can and like to do....
Who can run fast?
There will be a few hands raised, the jocks, the track stars, the athletes. There will be some shoving and horseplay as so and so is called out for an achievement or the time they dropped the ball, probably literally. But they will be the only ones who say they can. Those who excelled somewhere in those intermediary years. Those who were encouraged.
There will be someone who makes a self-deprecating joke about how they are a klutz and no one will correct them.
And then....
Who can sing?
A handful of musical theater kids might break into a spontaneous upbeat number if they happen to be together in a group, but otherwise, there is perhaps a hand or two raised. Someone will say "Oh Mary/Jane/Tom has a beautiful voice" and they will murmur.. "not really"
There will be no offers of demonstrations, there will be some uncomfortable foot shuffling and there will be.... mostly silence.
and then... the question,  for me, that is the heaviest..
So who can draw?
If  lucky, you'll get one positive response when you ask this question in a group. You will have friends singing the praises of the artists in the midst, but you will not have many who will open their sketchbooks for you but if they do, oh the beauty, the artwork, the wonderment that is on those pages.

So when does it change?
I think the love, the passion goes away when we start to measure it.
Only the cream of the crop is ever encouraged on any given path, despite their love or enjoyment of an activity.
I think that needs to change.
We need more well rounded people. We need people who do things for the joy it brings them.
Learning to play, to have fun is what makes life worth living.

I know. I'm on a soapbox.
Let's start a revolution. Let's bring back love of things we love.

You can run.
Maybe not well, but if you love it, do it.
Sign up for a 5 K and do it!

You can sing.
Maybe not great... but if you love it, take a class, sing in the shower, get friends together and plan to Christmas carol. People are so stunned by that concept that they don't care if you are any good, they are just excited that you are doing it!
And if you love to draw... then draw. You can do this.
YOU CAN. You can, you can, you can.
If you can write your name, you can draw.
I can put you in touch with someone, no matter where you live, who can help you achieve that if you aren't sure where to start. These are from a beginner class.
Stop being your own worst critic, pick up a pen and put some ink on some paper. :)

Don't give up the things you love because you think you aren't good enough. Enjoy them. Get better.
And more importantly, find the little people in your life and help them turn the things they love into part of who they are. Just because they are good in science doesn't mean you can't enjoy playing the guitar, and an aptitude for math doesn't rule out days spent covered in paint.
Well rounded is important.
Hobbies, passions, play is important.
Help me start my revolution.
This one isn't even dangerous.


  1. So true... I've even had a person in my class say "I can't draw but I can do this!". Or people who say they haven't drawn anything since elementary school and are amazed at what they accomplished. I love those moments.

  2. Love this post ! I agree with you that the passion leaves when we start to measure it. And that's what schools are good at. Schools have to measure and label and that leads to stiffing creativity.

  3. Love this post. Very true.(and i can kind of relate to the turtle)

  4. If I could bronze a post and display it for everyone to read . . . this is so true. I totally agree with your revolution.

  5. If I could bronze a post and display it for everyone to read . . . this is so true. I totally agree with your revolution.