How I started drawing (again)...

And why you should draw too!

(I’ll be writing about my experiences with drawing, but I believe what follows is applicable to many of the fine or performing arts)

Drawing is fun

When I first started drawing I must have been tiny and I don’t remember it at all. Kids draw with whatever they get and they draw whatever they see around them or they just scribble. They are not very good at it, even if the parents think they gave birth to a Monet or Van Gogh 🙈. Who can blame the parents though, here’s Jackson Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm”. All I’ll humbly say is I don’t “get” this painting.

Courtesy of jackson-pollock.org

Lets get back to kids for a second - It must be fun that’s why I guess they do it. They get bored of it sometimes and then get back to it and do it again. Kids like defacing walls and furniture and clothes. They like drawing in the mud and sand… in fact wherever they can.

Drawing is not serious?

The trouble begins of course in school where there is an “Art & Crafts” class but it’s not the same as other subjects. Art is more like Physical Education or some other “extra-curricular”. Kids learn in many different ways that the Arts are still just for fun, they are an extra - for real success in life there’s serious subjects like math, science, language, civics etc.

Here are some of the observations and conclusions we reach about Art at a young age :-

  • There is usually no curriculum for arts and there are rarely any exams —Art cannot be taught and proficiency cannot be tested. (there might be some truth in that)

  • Arts are not a requirement for any college admissions — Art is not required for success in a career and therefore in life. (Unless you are planning a career in the performing or fine arts)

  • People are impressed by your grades in math but the fan art you drew is meh — Proficiency at Art is not as desirable as other serious pursuits. (this might be more of an Indian thing, but I’ve heard of this happening in other cultures)

  • You rarely meet or hear of rich artists, and those who do have struggled in their early years — Art is not a good career choice. Most artists are destined to be losers.

And there’s loads more such reasons we “learn” from society. No wonder most kids stop drawing and painting or any of the others arts way before college. Even if they keep doing it’s like a tick or a guilty pleasure, not much else.

This is exactly what happened to me - I was doodling at boring meetings in office in my 30s, but I’d lost interest in the pursuit of Art long ago…

Drawing is Fun and Fulfilling

Or “why most of what was learned long ago doesn’t matter”.

Art is pursuit of the wondrous beauty of nature.

And someday or the other the need for wonder, and we all have it in us… is going to hit us. Wonder is what makes us feel more alive and conscious than anything else. It has the power to lift us out of our worst moods. Think about why we take vacations to beautiful places.

I had internalized that wonder is a guilty pleasure. If you work hard enough and make enough money, then maybe you get a tiny supply of it. It’s wonder which the world withholds from us to make us work so hard in our factories and offices. We are all Charlie and we want to go to the chocolate factory.

I was an attendant in my mom’s hospital room, and I was drawing on the couch, just a nice photo I found online - and the nurses would walk by and never forget to peek at my drawing, smile and make a comment. When we left the hospital I gave one drawing each from my sketchbook to several nurses.

That’s when it hit me, even my badly drawn doodles had the power to bring a smile to nurses in the midst of their hectic day, in between tending to sick people.

Making other people happy with wonder makes you happy.

This right here is the secret, the superpower of your art. We are social beings, we look at nature we see its beauty and wonder at it. With art we bring that wonder to others and ourselves - and create happiness all around. It’s a win win.

You might be wondering I would demolish the observations made when we were young one by one. And maybe I will someday in some other post.

But right now I wanted to play the trump card. The sense of wonder we can bring by admiring nature through our art - is reason enough to do it.

So I draw again and maybe you should too.

And before you go…

Share The Art Noob

P.S - Here are some of the brilliant and inspired 😜pieces of art from that sketchbook which I didn’t give away…

  • The door to the hospital room - my view :)

  • Detective Miller from Expanse (excellent show btw)

  • A bottle of water (says Nira in kannada)

  • Natalie Portman with a gun

  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui portrait