I like to think of Drawing as a multi-faceted, multi-faced, and multi-functioned tool.
Unlike other aspects of my life, I have always loved to draw. From the day I picked up my first red, blue, green, and yellow crayons to scribble in my black-lined, glossy-covered, baby, coloring book, I knew that drawing was an activity hat fulfilled me. Drawing carried on with me through the typical elementary school stages. It carried on through smudged markers on white printer papers in pictures of whatever my childish imagination could think of. Then it continued through my junior high years, filled with stress and puberty and teenage angst. That was when it took the form of smeared graphite on flimsy college-ruled notebooks, and on pre-printed, word-processed, notes my teachers handed out to a room of bored, 7th graders. However, it didn’t take an important role in my life until I took up beginning art. I still felt like a typical teenager, yet, there was an outlet. I had a skill I could feel proud of and show off carefully constructed pictures for my friends to stare in amazement at. For once in my life, I could relate to someone else. A classmate would boast that he liked to ride dirt bikes; another would say that she liked to shop at malls for hours on end, and then another student said that he liked to draw. I could now say: “Hey, I like to draw too!” and start a conversation about our shared interests.
When I wasn’t using drawing to connect with people, and I felt bored, alone, or just plain observant, an idea would spark in my head. I would dash for the nearest writing utensil and surface. learned Concentration on details, looking at the very fibers of a material; I would swear to draw every dot, shadow, and reflection it contained. The world suddenly looked like an elaborate picture filled with billions upon billions of details and pictures waiting for me to draw.
In the pictures that I needed to draw, lay a need to express myself. Expressing yourself is almost an innate need born in every person to walk this earth. Whether it be in work or play, everybody has a need to vent somehow and say what they feel somewhere. My voice was in my artwork. Obviously, I was young, so my work didn’t contain a multitude of symbolism, but certain pictures still meant something and was a part of my voice. An example would be my little sketchbook with drawings of flowers that followed me through church. Since I was still transitioning from primary ( the division of the church that teaches children under 12 years old) to Sunday school ( the division that teaches adolescents up to 18 years old). Instead of lash out, or ditch, or be a nuisance, I drew. Though, I still had a limited range of what I drew, the pictures had symbolism in them. Almost everyday would be a different flower. Each flower varied in shading and amount and intensity and size. When I disagreed with my family about some petty (yet significant back then) problem, I would make it rain on my flowers. They would droop towards the ground and have long stems falling out. They would be dark and sharp-edged, depending on if I was really angry or just upset. Other days, I would be bubbly, and I would draw myriads of different flowers arranged in a field, most of them with intricate round designs and grass blades popping up from the ground. On the other hand, some of my pictures didn’t contain any symbolism. Some drawings were just for the sake of drawing and looking pretty.
The drawings that just looked pretty had a reason to them, and like most of my drawings, I wanted to show it off to everyone . Every time I finished a particularly beautiful piece, I would parade it around the house to show-off to my parents and listen to their praise. My sisters would act astonished, and my friends would constantly give me thumbs-up and tell me how great of an artist I was. I would proudly tape it to the kitchen wall for display of any visitor who walked in our house. In reality, everyone wants and needs recognition because everyone has talents and ideas that are astonishing. This was a way for me to steal some attention with a talent of my own, which created self-confidence.
That self-confidence gave me an ice-breaker with peers. As I already mentioned, I would talk to friends about drawing as a hobby. Not just talk, sometimes I would draw with them. Especially in my art class, I could work on my sketch and chat with people at my table. Unlike any other class, I had skill for that, so people could ask me questions. In turn, I could ask them questions, and we could share ideas about drawing. I could draw things that were important to them, such as faces and objects, and they would talk about those faces or objects.
In the end, though, it wasn’t their faces or objects that interested me. It was the obscure and the bland objects and ideas that I latched to. While my friends in art class were typical things for sketches, like an easter egg for an easter sketch, I drew something entirely different. I drew and egg having a nightmare about easter morning. Drawing that took creativity, skill, and dedication. I sat outside for hours scoping out a picturesque scene to place it in. The tree took me 2 hours to just draw, because I had to look the shape, and feel the rough bark, and imagine what the tree would look like being shrunk and smacked down on a piece of paper. The grass, I not only drew, but I sat in it to feel its texture and I smelt it in the air during the process. The table the easter basket sat on beside the tree and on the grass, was a brown picnic bench that I stared at for 30 min. to understand the texture of the wood. However, that was the easy part, I could see all those parts of the picture. I had to create a dream bubble, and every other idea in the picture. When I drew it, I also experienced the child-egg in his little footy-pajamas waking up, tasting the crusties on his mouth and rubbing them off his eyes. I could hear his blood-curdling scream and the footsteps of the parent-eggs racing down the hallway. I could smell the stinky baby-sister-egg in her crib; sending noxious diaper fumes through the air. I could see the themed room towering over the child-egg, making it all the more creepy. In all, I could experience every detail in my drawing. That was the sort of idea that got my drawings into art contests. It was because I had unique ideas, and was attentive to details that I was able to experience the every detail I saw and drew.
In my attentiveness, I was able to find beauty and faults in almost every object I encountered. Whether it was a rotten, stinky, slimy, two-week-old, covered with fruit-flies, brown, banana peel, or it was a pair of pink, tiny, sparkly, princess shoes. I saw the beauty and faults in each detail. I would look at past work and notice how I made sure to shade each tile on the roof of that shack, or I would notice how I gave a sloppy texture to the ground around the same shack. This quality helped me to learn more when I looked at other artist’s pieces. A classmate of mine could have drawn a shack also, and I would see how they carved in minute patterns into the doorway, yet failed to give a texture to the walls of the shack. I could also look at famous artwork and wonder why they threw on sloppy pencil strikes in one part of a drawing, yet worked so hard to make the perfected offset detail on a side of the drawing. This helped me to learn things from everybody, whether it be myself, a classmate, or a famous artist, I would , and still do learn many things from other people’s artwork.
While learning is a good reason to explain how I can spend 30 minutes looking a one drawing or drawing one detail in a picture, there is another dominant reason: relaxation. A hobby should feel relaxing, overall, and that is what drawing accomplished for me. I was able to relax sufficiently with this craft. Drawing relaxed me and de-stressed me. When I was angry, I could run up to my room to draw an angry picture for my parents to see. Then, the picture would capture me, and I would spend hours deliberating over details. After a hard day, the stress of school would ball up inside my mind, and I would let it go, on the page when I drew. Hearing my pencil slide across the paper was rewarding and smelling graphite in the air got rid of all my care. My care about anything troubling me melted out of my heart and on a clean slate.
Ideas, feelings, and emotions were constantly hurled at the clean slate, and it absorbed them and fulfilled my need to express myself. Drawing not only helped me to express my obscure self in symbolism and ideas , but it helped me connect with other people, it helped me become more aware of the world and the beauty and faults that lay in each detail around me, it de-stressed my tween-self, it gave me a talent to feel proud of, it helped me learn to draw better. Drawing will, and always will continue to fill the shoes for these needs in my life. Even when I don’t have any drawing classes because it is too expensive for the school, I will always be able to draw and doodle. In the end, drawing will aid me in becoming a person who is multi-faceted, multi-faced, and multi-functioned : something that drawing has already become to me.