Getting better at getting badder
I realize it should read "getting better at getting worse" but "getting better at getting badder" really sings.
One of the things that holds me back from creating is the fear of making something awful…of marring the fresh white sheet with something ugly…and so I end up with stacks of beautiful, pristine and perfectly pointless empty pages. Especially now that I’m starting to draw again after a long absence and my fingers are filled with jittery self-doubt.
So I started doing 60-second sketches. Just me, a sharpie and a stack of blank index cards with the goal of creating simple, easy doodles to remind me that I’m going to fuck up and draw some absolute shit I hate, but I’m also going to surprise myself by creating some lovely and unexpected things that bring me joy. If I were a real artist I’d take the complete disasters and focus on getting better at whatever I failed (WHY CAN’T I DRAW HANDS?) but my goal isn’t beautiful art…it’s joy. And so instead when I sketch something that feels fun I do it again and again and try to make it even better and end up with a dozen images of cat butts or toadstools or alligators or giant metal chickens.
This is how I ended up here:
(Do instagram videos work here? I guess we’ll see. If not, click on it. Sorry. I’m still learning.)
And that’s why a dozen of you are getting sketches this week from me. And I’m going to keep doing them every month and sending them out to random friends here (if you’re here you are my friend. That’s how this works) because doing small and simple art with no risks or worries about producing terrible things reminds me that it’s okay to fuck up. You have to get the total shit out of the way to get to the stuff that you love. And it’s okay to love imperfect things. Case in point:
Some of you asked if we could have a weekly prompt…something to do each week together. So if you’re into that, this week’s prompt is “tiny art”. Maybe that’s small sketches, or a three sentence story, or a haiku, or a miniature goblet made of tin-foil. I haven’t found a good way to add images in comments but you can leave links in your comments, so if you want to share you can post your work on instagram or on your own substack and share the link in the comments. Or do it without sharing. Or share something that has nothing to do with the prompt that you’re proud of. There are no rules in art.
So. My sketch this week is one that I’m both proud of and embarrassed about and I hope you like it…
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