Every kid grows up drawing whatever was on their mind. We start off scribbling, and we would be proud of our creations, even though they were most likely hideous and made no sense to other people. Later in life, we begin to doodle little characters, objects or shapes, and some people will leave it at that and never actually look into making something more of it. In my case, drawing developed into my favorite hobby. It was not until a couple years ago when I feel like I truly learned to draw and became confident in my work.
When I was a little girl, I remember my favorite doodle was this character I made up; he had a circle as the body and inside that circle there were two circle eyes, and of course one of them was bigger than the other, and a curved line forming a smile, he had two lines as arms and two lines as legs. He was nothing special, honestly I think everyone has drawn a picture like that, but I loved how he came out so much, I got on my top bunk and drew him big on my ceiling with a blue crayon. Back then, my older sister and I shared a bedroom, so when she walked in and saw it, the first thing she said was “Ew what’s that supposed to be?” and laughed. As a little girl who looked up to her sister, that crushed my confidence, so I stuck to coloring in my coloring books instead.
A couple years later, my cousin moved in with us, and I remember how much I admired her creativity and her ability to draw. I used to watch her draw characters and portraits of family members whenever she would let me, even though it was not that often, and just be awed by her art. She is such an amazing artist, and I wanted her to teach me so that one day I could become as talented as her. She never had the time or patience to teach me, and I got tired of asking her, but I wanted to be able to put the pictures I would see on the internet up on my walls, but we didn’t have a printer back then, so I had to draw the pictures I wanted. My drawings never came out looking like the original picture, no matter how many times I would redraw them I would end up disappointed. Then I decided to ask google to teach me how to draw, wikihow was one of my favorite websites when I was starting off. The website had a lot of step by step pictures teaching me how to draw simple things, like basic cartoon animals or plants. Although wikihow was quite limited and had no detail in the drawings, it was a great start for me to learn the basics. Honestly, my drawings were terrible, but I kept telling myself to keep practicing and eventually I would be a great artist. Once in awhile my sister would come by and look at my work and say “Ew what’s that supposed to be? That looks nothing like the picture.” She would always be mean to me and try to put me down, but I would just try to ignore her, even though I longed for her approval.
After I started getting bored with the characters they had on wikihow, I turned to YouTube. YouTube just had such a wide range of categories, and I didn’t want to keep drawing simple animals or plants like I did on wikihow; I wanted to learn something more complex. I wanted a challenge. I kept telling myself that I wouldn’t be a great artist if I couldn’t detail my work, so I started looking up videos on how to draw animals. The artists in the videos were always helpful, they would explain where to start off, and how to figure out what shapes the subject has. After the artists would draw the shapes, they would move on to creating a clearer outline. From there, they would begin on the detail. I would always get so caught up on getting everything as precise as possible, and I would get irritated when my shapes wouldn’t come out exactly like theirs did. I would try over, and over again to make sure things came out identical to their pictures; it was good practice, but it would get annoying. One day I ran into a video where the artist explained how we should just let our hand flow, not everything has to be done in one certain way, but I would just think to myself “Yeah right, he’s just saying that because he’s a professional, and he could make a simple line look beautiful.” Eventually, I got tired of drawing animals and cartoon characters, so I would look back at the portrait my cousin drew of me and fall in love with the detail in the eyes. Because of this drawing, I truly wanted to learn how to draw eyes, so I started looking up “How to draw realistic eyes for beginners”. No matter how hard I tried, my lines were always too harsh, my eyes were always lopsided, the eyelashes were too stiff and cartoon-like, and I hated them. After weeks of practicing I just couldn’t draw realistic eyes. I got frustrated and I gave up. I just didn’t believe that practice made perfect anymore because I wouldn’t see any progress. I felt like I failed, and I no longer wanted to draw.
A couple years later, I commenced drawing again, but only because my sister asked me to help her with her art class homework. She asked me to make ten different drawings in her sketch book for her final. I didn’t want her to fail the class, so I told her I would do it. I remember on one page I had to draw some pandas, and to draw that I had to really focus on the picture and figure the shapes for their outline. After I figured out the shapes and finished the outline, I would move on to the details, just how the YouTube videos had showed me when I was beginning to draw. I didn’t realize up until the fifth picture I drew, that I was enjoying myself. I didn’t feel pressured to make everything look perfect because it was supposed to be my sister’s work, so I let myself go with the flow. I felt like I could add my own style to the drawing and express myself. I finished all ten drawings that same day, and my sister actually enjoyed my work and told me I had potential to make something of my talent. Now imagine how I felt, my whole life my sister had degraded my work, and out of nowhere, after I had given up on drawing, she finally told me she liked my work. I was proud of my art, and I looked back and realized I actually learned a lot from wikihow and youtube.
No, I still don’t know how to draw a portrait of someone, or how to draw a realistic eye, but that doesn’t bother me. There are different styles of drawings, and realistic is not my style. I found that I really enjoy abstract and surrealism art. I didn’t only learn how to draw, but I learned how to find beauty in all art, to be confident in my work, and I found a way to express myself.