A few days ago, while searching for freelance work, I came upon an artist’s website via a greeting card company. This artist expressed herself in pencil drawings and proclaimed herself a self-taught artist. Now, I’ve seen the phrase “self-taught ____” before but for some reason on this day it just jumped out at me.
The artist’s illustrations were cute but what caught my eye was the simplicity; they weren’t much more than stick figures…with hair. Images began dancing through my memory: simple, whimsical drawings I’d seen on greeting cards, coffee mugs or even as lithographs. Then I thought about my doodles.
I use doodling to relax my mind. I just start with a shape, any shape, and keep adding to it. Often I end up with some nonesense picture complete with characters; the characters are not pre-planned but as I tend to put a face on just about anything I end up with a bunch of little creatures. I wonder what Jung would have said about that. Hmmm.
Anyway, the point being that I have never called it “drawing” for two reasons.
1) I have not taken formal art lessons.
2) I had a tramatic experience (of the parental sort) and judged myself.
I suddenly realized that my self -talk was “I’m not artistic” or “I can’t draw” and that all I needed to do is change it to “I’m self-taught” and “my artistic expression is unique to me” in order to feel more empowered and open up all sorts of new possibilities for myself.
It is amazing how often we limit ourselves, the judgements we make in our own minds about our capabilities. Writer’s know this all to well…
“What do you do?”
“I’m a writer”
“What do you write?”
Oops. Caught. I haven’t been published yet. What do I say? I blog? I enter short-story contests? I write articles which I never submit?
Say what makes you feel good. It could be the difference between doodling and drawing.