What did you want to be when you were growing up? I always wanted to be an artist. I remember when I was in 6th grade, we got to dress up as what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wore a red beret and a big blousey shirt and carried a paint brush around all day. It turned out, I was only missing one thing — this little thing called talent.
I sketched around a bit in high school and even learned to draw a decent horse’s head (forget the body…it was always sadly out of proportion), but I never took art classes when I had the opportunity. I’m not sure why — if it was fear of failure or just lack of motivation.
A few weeks ago, the kids and I started doing our nature studies and keeping a nature journal. That was all it took — I got interested in sketching again. I got tired of my journal entries looking like they were drawn by a Kindergartener (and not a particularly talented Kindergartener), so I picked up some “learn to draw” books at the library and started practicing.
About that same time, I did one other thing that has really made a difference — at least, psychologically. I bought my own art supplies. The good stuff.
Since then, I spend a lot of my free time — time that was previously spent surfing the Internet, um, sleeping, or even *gasp* reading Twilight — sketching. I’ve really seen a marked improvement in just a couple of weeks, but, more importantly, I’m excited! It’s incredibly gratifying to have a hobby that feels productive. I’m loving spending time doing something, for me, that I’ve always enjoyed, but never bothered to pursue. It’s relaxing. It’s therapeutic. It’s really enjoyable making time for something that broadens my horizons.
I’ve started participating in Sketch Tuesday, hosted by Barb at Harmony Art Mom. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s mostly for kids (but adults are welcome to join in, so you could join me so I don’t feel so alone), but I like it for two reasons. One, Barb gives an assignment each week, so it makes me consider drawing things other than what I might typically choose on my own. Two, it gives me a sense of accountability. I feel like I have to have something ready to submit by Monday, so I have to get it done. Plus, since Barb puts all the sketches on her Flickr account, I have to to something decent because other people are going to see it.
So, I’m not sure which part of it really works for me — having my own art kit (which does inspire me) or taking time to expand my own education. Either way, I’m finding it all very satisfying. If you don’t have a hobby that makes you feel productive and inspired, I encourage take time to find one. Take time for educating you — or your entire family. I keep hoping that my kids will be inspired to join me in sketching. When they do, I’ll be sure to let you know.
Visit Kristin at We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday tips.