Sometimes a project gets put on hold until I level up enough as an artist to take it back out and complete it. Usually this happens when I’m stuck in my head, and I start to draw the life out of everything.
And when it’s time to bring it out, I feel determined. I’m RESOLVED to draw the thing. But I’m also intimidated. I remember how frustrating it was, and I find myself stalling. “oh, I was going to work on that, but I decided to cook bacon! Uh.. I needed to fold towels! I have to run an errand! Oh does that need cleaning AGAIN? Just a few more chapters in this book, and I’ll get right to it.”
Procrastination is sneaky.
Before I know it, I’m completely stressed out because I’m not taking charge and I really WANT TO FINISH THIS, but now it’s a BILLION TIMES HARDER because it has grown teeth while I ignored it and keeps making threatening chomping noises.
Enter the drawing studies and the silly sketches. Above is a study of child. I’ve been leaning a lot towards drawing toddlers lately, and I wanted to get familiar again with bigger kids! Kids who run and play, hug their toys, get embarrassed, and grin when they figure out tying their shoes when 5 minutes ago IT WAS SO HARD AND THEY WERE NEVER GOING TO GET IT RIGHT.
*lightbulb flashes above my head*
Huh! I guess some things don’t change. Next time I want to shout “It’s TOO HARD I CAN’T DO IT! I’ll remember I learned to tie my shoes and just get to work instead of being a peeved pickle like below. 😀
I’ve been sick with a cold for two weeks, and I’m pretty tired of feeling yucky. I’ve been sleeping a lot, and seeing how fast I can beat my last record of going through a box of tissues.
The good news is, I’m also writing a lot more. I have a couple story ideas that I’m really excited about, and so I’m writing my first drafts which are AWFUL, and that’s wonderful. If writing is like cleaning out a closet, the first draft is emptying the closet and throwing everything on the bed. All your ideas are out there, messy and disorganized, but once you work through it, you know you’ll have a good story/ tidy closet.
So far my writing process goes like this:
Write two sentences
Stare into space.
Write another sentence
Stare into space visualizing the scene and curse once I realized I stopped typing.
Try to “rewind” visualization and type it out poorly.
Make a cup of hot cocoa and wish it was the kind with marshmallows.
About a year ago, I cleaned out the back of my closet and sorted through old boxes. There was this thumb drive that was covered in fuzz and dust and I almost threw it away, but thought “I better make sure nothing is on it.” And then I put it on my desk and avoided it.
I assumed that it would be full of old forms and documents from my working in higher education. My last job wasn’t a healthy experience for me, and I wasn’t ready to bring back memories and sort through the files yet. I wanted a cup of tea, a sunny day, and a good feeling.
Today is snowy, I’m a little cranky, and too impatient to make tea. My desk is cluttered and I better see what’s on this stupid thing before I throw it away. And I was surprised. There was a folder of old tax returns, a folder of work documents (already labeled) and a folder that said “Fun fun fun”. I opened it, and there were two stories. One had a brief outline and some thoughts and the other was outlined and 8000 words written. I vaguely remembered these ideas and checked the date: 2011, my last year working in higher education. I left my job at the end of the spring semester in 2012 to pursue children’s book illustration.
I had forgotten that I wrote to help escape my job. To just find some comfort. I also found a letter I wrote “To Future Me” and in it 2011 Me wrote “This is really happening.” and outlined all the horrible things that were happening on a regular basis at my work with a note of “Because you’ll start to forget and doubt if you did the right thing.”
I carefully cleaned off the sweater fuzz from the drive and put it away. I’m going to finish those stories for my past self. But first, a cup of hot tea.