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Forms of expression

Those who know me (I start a few posts with that phrase, don’t I?) know that I do a lot of different things. I write, a lot; I make music, a fair bit; I cook, a lot; I’ve done a podcast, live shows, audiobook narration, earring creation… the list does, in fact, go on.

The one that’s always eluded me is drawing.

I always told myself that one day, the itch would well and truly seize me, and I’d find it in my busy schedule to fit in consistent enough practice that I’d get better. I told myself, it’ll happen when I find the right medium. When I find the right teaching method. When I when I when I.

Excuses!

I won’t jinx it and say that I’ve finally been well and truly seized by the itch, but I think I’m on my way. Finally. And I think it’s a combination of factors: the pandemic, Lorenzo Etherington’s incredible books, my iPad, and finally releasing myself to just create and not have it look like anything in particular.

I’m just… expressing myself.

It’s really fun.

What are these strange creatures? I have no idea. Is this my once and future style? Probably not. But wow, it feels good to allow my brain to play for 30 minutes at a time.

The iPad with the Procreate app and the Apple Pencil makes an amazing medium. It feels infinitely expandable and infinitely erasable, and both of those things give me confidence.

The Etherington books are absolutely the best teaching method I’ve ever encountered, when it comes to understanding form and contrast and all of the elements of drawing — the art in general, and also drawing specific things.

And the pandemic has given me extra time and energy to make things.

But really, it’s allowing drawing to be an outlet for my brain that is unlike every other outlet I’ve found before, just by trying it out, that has given me a newfound sense of confidence and determination when it comes to the relentless practice required to make art I’m happy with. It’s more akin to writing poetry than novels or short stories; it’s much more about playful, freeform removal of the gunk inside my mind than it is crafting an intricate narrative.

I feel that as I go on through life, as I continue to say “yes” to trying new ways of expressing myself, I will come to a more complete understanding of myself.

Plus, uh, I’ve always wanted to be able to draw well enough to get the wild creatures living in my head onto paper. So here’s hoping I’m well on my way to that goal.

If you’re someone who writes collaboratively and regularly, and you’re interested in being part of an author collective, please contact me! I’d love to talk.

Published inPersonal thoughts