Two years ago, at the end of 2021, I decided that 2022 was going to be the year of creating differently. I had turned my creative hobby of choice, knitting, into a full-fledged business as a brick-and-mortar yarn shop and was in desperate need of some sort of other creative outlet. Knitting all day every day, both at work and at home, was wearing on me and I was finding myself uninspired and, frankly, struggling to enjoy life.
Learning to draw filled that void and gave me the break I needed, creatively speaking. It gave me the space I needed to take my mind off the stresses of business and sample making. It gave me some creative excitement back in my life. I filled that original sketchbook, and then another. I bought nicer pencils, nicer watercolors, nicer brushes. I signed up for online virtual lessons. I joined a few art communities. I practiced, practiced, and practiced more, trying to draw every day. My daily drawing practice became akin to journaling, a way to decompress from life. There’s a zen that comes with drawing and shading a piece that is much like the zen of knitting stitches.
These days I don’t draw every day, at least not regularly, anyway. I go in phases, like everything in life, and my practice ebbs and flows. Sometimes life gets stressful and the idea of adding one more thing to my to-do list, even as simple as a crappy little doodle (and trust me, there are a LOT of crappy drawings behind the scenes), feels too much. But I’ve kept up with it, on the whole, and have made at least a few drawings that I’m pretty proud of, even if I critique the hell out of them internally and forever feel like they’re probably nothing worthy of note to anyone else.
A lot of my drawings aren’t complete in the way that I’d like them to be. I’ve become pretty decent at drawing some singular things, but not a whole picture to tell a full story. I’ve also become accustomed to drawing small, which can make some things easier, but it can be limiting – especially when I’d really like to eventually get good enough that I could paint some art for the walls of my house. Those are two things I intend to work toward in 2024, though I’m not sure yet how I’ll go about it. But I’m excited to continue and see how much progress I make in this next year and how my artwork improves 🙂