A lot of us go into learning to draw thinking it should be easier than it is.
We draw a handful of images and are disappointed by our initial results. We express horror at our abysmal lack of talent, decide that obviously drawing isn’t meant for us and throw in the towel.
We need to dismantle the myth that creativity has to always be fun and flowing and that if that’s not the case then you must be doing it wrong.
We don’t approach building other skills in this way. It is a harmful attitude that prevents many people from stepping into their creative gifts and experiencing the joy of fully expressing their creativity.
Creativity is a skill you hone like any other. Why should it be naturally easier to build?
Drawing for example is an INCREDIBLY complex skill.
There is so much that goes into making a good drawing: Shape, volume, contrast, composition, perspective, anatomy, light, shadow, colour, storytelling, the list goes on and on.
Yet people make a handful of drawings, are genuinely devastated that they didn’t turn out well, decide they don’t have any talent and quit.
Imagine if plumbers did that. Or carpenters. Or architects. Or programmers. Or teachers. Or babies when they‘re learning to walk. “Oh that first attempt didn’t work out, guess I’m not good enough for this, so I won’t bother.”
It’s just silly.
Drawing is a complex skill, it requires lots of practice, and yes, sometimes building that skill is frustrating and boring and hard.
Yes, sometimes creativity is flowing and fun and magical and easy.
And oftentimes it just looks an awful lot like hard work as your brain grapples to understand something new so you can create something beautiful. And that’s totally normal.
Can we let go of the romanticized idea that creativity is a magical gift bestowed upon a few but not many, and that instead it is a skill we can build with dedicated practice if we so choose.