The drawings above have a couple of things in common (other than being done by me):
- None of them felt good to draw while I was doing them.
- I’m not happy with them – but at least they’re done.
I can’t explain how frustrated I feel when I sit down to work, and the flow doesn’t come. Which, by the way, is most of the time. My fingers feel like they’re made of lead. I draw clunky lines, a blob of ink leaves the pen suddenly and ruins an intricate detail, the train jolts and it’s all over. A couple of months ago, I’d have just sighed in frustration, shut the sketchbook and got on with my day.
But I’m working really hard at pushing through the feelings of inadequacy and ineptitude I have to just get it done and put it out there, trusting in the process and enjoying getting better.
You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.
I read a story about Arnold Schwarzenegger in his early bodybuilding days once. He (believe it or not) had skinny little legs – relative to the rest of him, anyway! Most people’s instincts are to hide their defects. Arnie cut all his trousers down into shorts, deliberately emphasising his weaknesses. He knew it would motivate him to train harder, and, as we all know, it paid off for him.
That’s why I’m trying things that challenge me and sharing them, even (especially) if I’m not 100% satisfied with them. I want to look back at my work in a year’s time, and I want to barely recognise it because of how much I’ve improved. The only way that’s going to happen is if I force my way through that uncomfortable feeling and get it done regardless.
I think that’s something any person trying to create something out of nothing can relate to. I hope you all smashed your Monday. Get ready for the rest of the week – make it a good one!
P.S. follow me on Instagram – you’ll see some stuff that doesn’t make it to the ink!