What is going on? Today I was working on the 250 Box Challenge for my Drawabox class. I was getting very frustrated because no matter what I did the boxes I drew where not coming out correctly. As I took a break, I remembered that I had worked on some very similar exercises in one of my sketchbooks and I wanted to see how I had constructed those boxes. But of course, I didn’t remember when I had done those, so I didn’t know which sketchbook they were in.
I pulled out the first sketchbook I had and was flipping through it. The improvements the first three sketchbooks, spanning a little over two years astonishes me! I drew anything and everything I saw, I made notes when I knew things where wrong, and moved on when I didn’t. I can visually see those improvements; I can see and remember I was having fun and enjoyed drawing just day-to-day objects.
So, what happened? Why am I struggling and not making much improvement now? I know everyone hits a plateau, but I haven’t really enjoyed sketching lately at all, it just feels like work! As I sit down to think about it, when I started taking all the classes, paying for yearly subscriptions to every art sight I could afford, and watching more YouTube videos then I should, I stopped sketching for fun.
So, I’m taking a step back, I’m going on a semi learning hiatus. My CGMA class is paid for and currently starting week 4. We have weekly assignments we have to turn in, so this is not a “work at your own pace” class, but Drawabox is. I’m going to stop watching all other video or classes, unless it’s just for pure enjoyment. I’m going to slow down on my Drawabox lessons and give them, and me, the time they need.
But most of all I’m going to put sketching back into my schedule. Each week I’m going to divide my CGMA homework up, so I do a little each day, do a page or two of Drawabox, and then make sure I sketch.
My CGMA class is only eight weeks long, but Drawabox can take as long as I want it to, so that is what I will do. I want to see the improvements I saw before in my sketching; I want to put the things I’m learning in my classes to practice, and I just want to sketch for enjoyment again, not because I have to get homework done.
I know I placed artificial timelines on myself, but I would see other people’s YouTube or blog post and see the progress they were making and tell myself I should be doing the same thing. I honestly don’t have two hours a day I can spend just drawing, I really wish I did, but I have a full time job and a family. I also know that everyone learns at their own pace and has their own abilities. I really feel I was rushing to keep up with people for no reason other than I felt I should. I admire the individuals that can get through a Drawabox lesson a week, but I want to LEARN this, I want it to become ingrained in my sketching.
So, I’m slowing down, I will work on some additional box exercises that will help me, and not rush the process. But most of all, I’m going to sketch for the pure joy of making a messy drawing in my sketchbooks that no one but me will care about!