Drawing is one of the simplest, cheapest and most accessible forms of active meditation out there. Done regularly like exercise, drawing can enhance our overall wellbeing and there is stacks of scientific evidence showing the positive effect it can have on the brain.
Drawing helps us to:
Improve our concentration and ability to focus
Connect with our inner selves and each other
Explore and express our emotions and ideas
Build creative confidence and lateral thinking skills
Release endorphins and feel HAPPY!
FEEL THE FEAR AND DRAW IT ANYWAY!!
Believe us when we say: EVERYONE CAN DRAW!!
It’s amazing how many people tell us they “can’t draw”! And even if you’re a confident sketcher or professional artist, you too have probably had moments when you’ve been struck by that fear of getting it ‘wrong’, thinking your work isn’t good enough, or been stuck in a creative rut. From countless conversations we know that even the most confident creatives have moments of self-doubt.
And you know what one of the best ways to break through creative block is?
Experiment, take part in challenges, try new mediums, draw with your ‘wrong’ hand, draw with your eyes closed...
Think back to when you were a kid, when every blank page/surface/kitchen table was an irresistible canvas for self-expression. Back when you could happily draw without inhibitions and felt a sense of accomplishment and pride in everything you created - no matter how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it was.
Go back there, re-awaken your inner child and just DRAW DRAW DRAW!
We often hear people say “I used to draw loads as a kid” - and then comes the “but”. And more often than not, it turns out they stopped because they weren’t encouraged or their confidence was knocked by their experiences of art lessons at school. So many of us loved drawing as kids, but our confidence and passion faded when we were taught the ‘right’ way to do it and began to develop insecurities and a notion of ‘good and bad art’. We started to look around and compare ourselves to others, and unless we were one of the ‘arty types’ in our class, our confidence gradually faded.
Sarah Bucket, founder of the Can’t Draw Club, is a selfconfessed ‘late bloomer’ when it comes to drawing.
“I didn’t study art beyond the basic compulsory lessons at high school because I thought my drawings weren’t good enough, and mistakenly believed that being able to draw “well” was the only gateway to the arts. I only started enjoying and sharing my drawings just after I turned 40.”
That’s not to say that art teachers and tutors aren’t doing a bloody brilliant job, but art is one of those tricky things that when you start to teach it you have to assess it, and therefore there have to be some measures of ‘good and bad’ in place. And even if you’re one of the naturally ‘artistic types’ who went on to pursue a creative degree, the chances are that your confidence has been knocked at some stage by your experiences of Art in education.
Arts graduate Emma Warfield told us:
“As a kid I used to love drawing all the time – until I got to design school and was surrounded by so much talent I felt like I paled by comparison – I started repeating to myself: ‘I can’t draw’. I only took it up again recently as a form of expression and art therapy, and after recognising that you don’t need to be the best at something to enjoy doing it.”
People assume that anyone who is creative must be confident about drawing, but that’s not necessarily the case. We meet a lot of people who work in the creative industries who are “terrified” of drawing - mainly because they don’t do it very often! Like Bec O’ Connor, a Creative Director who came to one of our Social Sketchup events told us:
“I used to draw a little when I was a teenager but haven’t done too much since. I never thought I was any good at drawing, but turns out I had my own style all along, I just needed to start drawing again!”
Even as a professional artist, when you’ve proven you can get it ‘right’ and found your style, there’s always that fear of switching it up: of experimenting with new styles and techniques, in case you lose followers or clients. The point is, we all worry so much about the end result being ‘good’ that we forget the sheer joy that we felt as children, when we had no comparisons or hang-ups: only curiosity and creativity in abundance!
CARVE OUT TIME FOR ART
“I don’t have time to draw!” is a common and valid excuse not to draw: after all, with the pressures of everyday life and responsibilities, it’s often hard to take time to think – let alone draw! And the chances are, if we do get some free time, we’ll probably use it to do something that is effortlessly relaxing - and for many people that’s unlikely to be drawing!
Drawing could be considered a bit childish and pointless. We live in such a results-driven culture that we often overlook the power of getting lost in the creative process: the art of drawing for the sake of drawing. We tend to focus on doing the things that will get us somewhere or something: acquiring skills that will boost our CV and be advantageous to our careers, or making things that have some practical everyday use, like pottery. But whether you’re at a social sketching event or at home on the sofa: we can all carve out a little time to draw. You might not create any masterpieces, but that’s not the point: the point is to relax, disconnect and draw for yourself - the rest is a bonus!