5 Portraits I Made Once I Started Drawing Again

I stopped drawing for a while.

My after-work time became half-watching TV while absently scrolling through the Internet.

I didn’t even want to draw. I thought things like:

What’s the point of creativity? Who’s benefiting from this? Am I really contributing anything to the world by bothering?

Was I just telling myself that I was “creative” to fill up the emptiness from a childhood spent memorizing my ceiling’s texture instead of going outside?

Was “creativity” a consolation prize for failing in every single other way?

What if I wasn’t even that good?

What if I was the William Hung of drawing?

Sounds like depression, right?

So I did all the things you’re supposed to do:

I reconfigured the way I ate. I took up exercising almost every day before work. I touched up my wardrobe. I lost 15 pounds.

My sketchbooks lay empty. My blog collected dust.

If I wasn’t “creative,” who was I?

The situation was turning into a sloppy existential crisis.

Time for medical intervention.

My doctor recommended taking a class. He knew that: 1) I tend to do things I’ve paid for, and 2) I can’t resist an academic challenge. I’d follow through.

Sketchbook Skool seemed like a great alternative to taking a class in real life. I like Danny Gregory’s blog, so signing up for one of his classes sounded pretty good.

I was so rusty, and busy with all that exercise, that I’m still not quite done with the class (even though it’s technically been over for a while), but it did get me rolling again. Drawing. Painting. Exploring zines. (I still haven’t made one, but I have some ideas.) Playing.

It’s nice, and I hope it sticks around.

  • I’m so sorry you’ve been down lately, friend. Depression is a monstrous beast, but your drawings are bright & gorgeous & so, so creative. There’s something beautiful, I think, in pushing through the sadness to make of & despite & through it. Thank you for sharing these things with us this morning – I so loved drinking them in, & I have no doubt they will keep me warm during the week ahead.

    Topaz (Six Impossible Things)