Regarding drawing….the Reader’s Digest version:
In October 2004 I had brain surgery. I have 2 rare diseases. Arnold-Chiari 1 Malformation and Syringomyelia. They are a pain in the neck. Literally. The brain surgery took care of the ACM until the bone grows back. Which may, or may not happen. But since I’m so symptomatic it probably will. The Syringo is in my cervical spinal cord (neck) and lots of damage has been done. It sucks, but I deal with it.
Anyway…sometimes I can walk and use my hands and sometimes I can’t. It’s a gift from God that I can craft at all. I like to laugh about all this, hence the joking around all the time. It’s how I deal. Anyway…another HUGE problem is that my memory is shot. The ACM pushed my hindbrain down into my spinal column causing all sorts of problems (and ACM is a birth defect so I had it from birth til surgery at age 38 so lots of dmg done).
Having said all that the miracle is that I used to draw. Not great, but I did it. And I loved it. But I forgot that I did it and loved it. In May of this year (2011) a dear friend bought me an online art class for my 45th birthday. She knows me well and knows that I’m a frustrated artist always looking for a medium in which to create. So she bought me the doodling class. I started out doodling letters like the class taught. Then I started drawing.
Then our fish died.
Nice segue, eh?
So we start going to this local mom and pop fish store and they help us set up the new fish tank and teach us a bunch about raising fish. I become fish obsessed (will post pics later). I start looking up cartoon fish pics online and drawing them. It leads to more drawing. All of a sudden I get really good at drawing. Then I show the awesome lady fish store owner my sketch book and she asks if I’ll mural a wall (or maybe it was the window). Um…WHAT? ME? “not a professional”. She didn’t care. She loved the pics and wanted to work a deal when they remodel their store. Even if she was just being nice, it made my day. I’m good with that.
Oh what the heck…here’s the pics I showed her from my sketch book:
These are all copies off of other artists work from online. I just put them together on pages because that’s how I roll.
Anyway, I had to teach crafts at vacation bible school the following week and told my friends there about the fish store lady. My friend Anna’s husband is the children’s pastor and she said they’d been praying for someone to finish the murals in the children’s wing in the church. She asked if I would pray about it. I reminded her that I’m not a professional but if they’d provide the paints/brushes/supplies, I’d be glad to do it. That’s all it took for God to reach down and help my drawing improve big time.
I completely believe He was waiting for me to get ready so He could use me to do this. Pastor Mike and I got together and he gave me his ideas and I put them on paper. I will post those ideas later.
My biggest suggestion to those who WANT to learn to draw is this:
Don’t be afraid to fail. Have a big white eraser handy. I erase more than I draw. Seriously.
I go to Google/Images and type in whatever I’m interested in drawing that day and hit enter. Then I just start drawing and erasing til I get it “right”. And by “right” I mean right for me. To the place that I’M happy with the drawing. You don’t need fancy schmancy pencils. You don’t even need a sketch book at first (you’ll want one eventually if you’re like me and become obsessive about always drawing). Just grab a pencil and paper. I say get a white eraser because it doesn’t leave junk behind on your paper.
So that’s it. That’s me and drawing. While I’m still not great, I’m better than I was.