Long time no blog, I know. Stuff. Life. Death. It happens.
But here’s a thing. I am not a visual artist. I appreciate the hell out of the form, but – as I’ve often said – I can’t even draw a straight line if you gave me a ruler and four tries. But after my attempt to pick up a non-keyboard, non-wording hobby ended in disaster (for the record, knitting is not restful for the wrists), I decided what the hell: it’s not like anyone except me was going to see my results. And I picked up a sketchpad, and a box of pastels, thinking if nothing else it would be messy like fingerpainting, and I’d feel creative that way, right?
Well, kinda. I did enjoy messing about with colors, but I didn’t get the pleasure I’d been hoping; I could see everything that was wrong, and nothing that was right, and for a lazy perfectionist like me, having nothing right is a serious buzzkill, even when goofing around.
So the pastels went back in the box, and the sketch pad sat there for a while. Until this past weekend, when on impulse while waiting to meet a friend for dinner, I walked into an art store, drawn by the wall of PENS they had on display.
I’m a writer, PENS are a thing.
And I picked up a pen like nothing I’d ever seen before. A ShinHan “Touch Twin” marker. The clerk behind the counter saw my interest, and came over to extol them.
(It turns out she’d worked in NYC publishing as well, and we had overlapping experiences, but that’s another Small Fucking World post for another time, probably)
So, anyway. I’m reasonably flat broke, but it happened to be my birthday and whatthehell, they weren’t that expensive. So I bought four – blue, green, purple, and a “blender” pen. I figured if nothing else, they’d be fun to sign books with.
And then I came home and didn’t do anything with them for a few days. Until I started messing around.
You know what? I still can’t draw – not the way I’d want to. And not anything remotely good, consistently. But I wasn’t flinching away, dissatisfied, either. There was, maybe, even a hint of satisfaction.
And some of the doodles, imo, got Personality.
This isn’t some big thing I’m diving into headfirst. But the sketchbook and the pens are staying out, and every day or so I sit down and do a single doodle. Just one, letting my hand decide what it becomes. Still not an artist. But I’m arting, anyway.
And you know what? It feels good. Not to do something that scared me (we have to do that shit every damn day we adult) but to art, anyway. Even – maybe especially – in a format I didn’t have expectations of.
(and if you follow me on Tumblr (I’m suricattus) look for the hashtag #artinganyway)