With some of the extra time I’ve had on my hands lately, I’ve been getting back into drawing. I’ve always enjoyed drawing but never really thought I was great at it.
My first distinct memory of drawing was a picture I drew of Bart Simpson out of a Simpsons comic that I had. He had turned into Super Bart, or something, and was ripping his shirt off. It wasn’t a bad drawing.
Eventually, I graduated to comics and manga. Every once in a while I’d take some time to draw the Avengers or Spiderman, but nothing consistent. Cartoon-style stuff mostly. I tended to wander back in times of stress.
I never really considered myself to be much of a visual artist though. I couldn’t do much more than recreate something that someone else did. I always had trouble creating something out of my head.
Recently, though, I’ve come back to drawing. It all really started when I read the book Stop Talking, Start Influencing by Jared Cooney Horvath, and one of the chapters explains how visuals aid in memory retention and learning. So I started studying up on the idea of sketch-noting to help not only me but also my students in class.
I was learning about sketch-noting and then one day, a Facebook ad popped up for a Udemy course about character drawing. Typically, Facebook ads don’t get me, but because of my renewed interest, I was intrigued. I clicked on the link and found the course available at a huge discount. I grabbed it, and I’ve been working my way through it. One of the introductory lessons discusses the idea of creativity being an inherent talent. In reality, creativity is a skill like any other. It requires practice.
The problem is that a lot of people simply think they can’t draw. The myth out there says drawing, or any creative field, really, is an inherent talent that people are born with.
This is false.
If you happen to be one of those people, I encourage you to check out some of Graham Shaw’s TED talks about drawing. He shows that, regardless of skill or “natural talent,” anybody can draw.
Anyone can learn to draw. All you need is time and practice. Sure, some people come along easier and more quickly than others, but that’s life. People do the same thing in sports. People do the same thing in the business world. People do the same thing in content areas like math, English, science, history. It’s not a matter of inborn skill but a matter of determination.
Creativity is all the same, whether it’s writing, drawing, painting, music, theater. It’s all skill that can be learned through practice.
You may have a lot more time on your hands right now due to our current world situation. I encourage you: pick up a pencil and paper. Draw something. There are many benefits to it, one of which is relieving stress.
There are plenty of places to learn these skills. YouTube is a great place to start. Check out some of the videos to get started.
[This article first appeared on Lee’s blog: mltworks.net]