Trying to Draw Without Fear

Trying to Draw Without Fear - student project

I first watched this class back in 2017, just as I was starting to explore my creativity again after years of not creating. It gave me such a gentle approach to creativity, I'm not sure where I'd be without it. That's why, in this hard year, I decided to jump in with an actual project for this class that helped me so much. 

I started with the Tools experiment, just like I was supposed to, but I figured I'd show off my title page first. Hand-lettering scares the bejeesus out of me, but I let myself take my time and I really like how it turned out. I had more details but I hated them, so I whited them out with gouache. 


This abstract to explore my tools was an absolute delight. I'd actually never done an abstract before, and this encouraged me to dive in. It also encouraged me to try my neocolor crayons and pan pastels that I've been too afraid to use. I definitely want to do more abstracts in the future. 

Next, I jumped into my doodley self-portraits. I let myself paint them in afterward so that they felt a little more finished. This exercise always gives me nervous butterflies when I start, but I always love the freedom and the fun that comes along with letting go of control. 

This is my experiment to paint to music. The song I chose was Sally Gally by Shugo Tokumaru (it's on Spotify). I thought it had enough variety in there to keep me interested. The song felt like a journey to me, and I think the final painting reflects that. 

I struggled a bit with the exercise to abstract things. I picked a tulip, since it was a simple shape, and I like the results, but I'm not sure I went wild enough. But that's okay, I still did it. 

Well, this last exercise was a real exercise in overcoming fear. True story: I actually started this project MONTHS ago and I've been avoiding this last simple exercise since then. For some reason, the idea of intentionally adding a mistake brought all my resistance to the forefront. I found myself wanting to plan the mistake, and I'd think about it as I started the painting, and then I'd get down on myself because it felt like cheating if I thought about the "mistake" I would make in advance. Today I finally jumped in and just went for it. Even then, I actually had to try twice to come up with something I wasn't too embarrassed to show off. But I did it. So that is a win. 

Thanks so much for the class MN. I'm so grateful for it. 




Artist, illustrator