Drawing

There’s this thing that happens when you’re a super smart kid. You’re good at everything. You learn fast, and you don’t struggle in school. Math, reading, sciences: they all fall before your mighty cerebral prowess. I was also a decent writer from an early age, arguably the best singer in my church children’s choir, a passable actress, and pretty gosh darn good at the piano. But no one’s perfect. Everyone has things they’re bad at. One of mine was sports. Literally all sports except for karate (which I got pretty far in). But I was okay with this. You don’t need to be able to play softball when you’re an intellectual elite. There was one other thing, though, and that was drawing.

I loved drawing. A lot. I did it all the time. Doodles and sketches and concepts. I liked the ability to take things in my head and put them in a form that I could share, and for a long time I wasn’t bad at it. I was little kid, after all, and we tend to make exceptions for tiny talent. Every new little step is a spurt of growth, and that’s, during those times, enough.

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Early elementary.
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Early elementary
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Third grade. I had a tooth pulled, and I spent the afternoon at my grandma’s hopped up on painkillers. Then this happened.

But when does talent start to pique? When do you, dare I say it, have to start working for it?

Late elementary.  This was Brooke. I had OC's before OC's were a thing.
Late elementary.
I had OC’s before OC’s were a thing.
During the "bestiary summer" between fifth and sixth grade where I filled up a pocket sketchbook with creatures.
During the “bestiary summer” between fifth and sixth grade where I filled up a pocket sketchbook with creatures.
Some of the creatures were from the Harry Potter series.
Some of the creatures were from the Harry Potter series.
Early middle school
Early middle school

It was late junior high, I think, when I started to notice that I didn’t seem to be getting better. This, of course, made very little sense to me. I drew all the time after all. I knew by then, at least, that you had to practice. So, I did. And still, I felt my abilities weren’t where they should be for how much I so loved doing it. I was good at playing the trombone, afterall, and I had turned into a pretty damn good poet and my British accent was on point. The ideas in my head were getting bigger, though, expanding beyond what could be captured by simply putting graphite to paper in the minimal capacity in which I knew how.

Late middle school. The obligatory emo phase was starting to show up.
Late middle school. The obligatory emo phase was starting to show up.
Late middle school. I invented a band.
Late middle school. I invented a band.
My imaginary band did the soundtrack to my imaginary movies.
My imaginary band did the soundtrack to my imaginary movies.

Then, I simply gave up. There wasn’t any room in my high school class schedule for art and drawing classes. Because I couldn’t do it and I felt like I had lost the capacity to learn to be better, it lost value to me. “I’m good enough,” I was able to tell myself. “If I really want to get better later, I’m smart enough to teach myself. Whatever.”

Late high school, I guess.  MySpace was still around.
Late high school, I guess. MySpace was still around.
Freshman year. I remember drawing it during Spanish II.
Freshman year. I remember drawing it during Spanish II.
High school at some point.
High school at some point. It was for an English assignment of some sort.

Well. It doesn’t quite work that way. So I never got better. But I let myself be okay with that.

Funny, then, that in the end, it would be technical illustration that I finally got a degree in.

I liked AutoCAD and technical illustration and modeling. I was good at it. It’s objective and cold. Things must look how they must look and that’s simply it. There’s no need to translate what’s in your head onto the page. The things you’re creating exist in the real world, you’re merely copying them.

I think it was then that I started drawing in earnest again. Not just drawing. Scanning. Then learning to color. Working in CAD had reminded me that art doesn’t have to stop at pen and paper. The computer is my friend. It can make up for the things that I can’t do.

Second year college.
A doodle third year of college when the cable was out.
A doodle third year of college when the cable was out.
First year college.

I dived into Photoshop and Illustrator. I took a class in figure drawing for animation.

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Mostly, though, I started getting better. At everything. The things in my head started existing in real life with unprecedented accuracy.

 

The delicious looking Sweetroll/buntcake drawing I brought to my caterer for my 2013 wedding.
The delicious looking Sweetroll/buntcake drawing I brought to my caterer for my 2013 wedding.

I was creating, and I was doing it in ways I didn’t know I was able to.

 

And I’m still going.

It’s not perfect.

 me-01

But it’s getting better.


And I think that’s just fine.

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