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I can't draw (No seriously)




Since I started a creative business I have had serious impostor syndrome.

I am a designer with no formal art training - in fact it is worse than that, I am a designer who was prevented from taking art classes after age 13 as I was so untalented.

My still-lives never looked like those on the table, my portraits were very lopsided, my landscapes very dull. I could not draw.

For the past 10 years that I have made my living as a designer I have hardly been able to talk to other designer/artist/makers for the loud clanging phrase in my head "YOU CAN'T DRAW! YOU CAN'T DRAW! YOU CAN'T DRAW! These are PROPER artists and YOU CAN'T DRAW!"

My impostor syndrome is so bad that a friend once wrote about it in a national magazine - saying that all designer makers should go to art school simply so they didn't end up like me, paralysed by a feeling that they aren't "proper artists".

Of course it is ridiculous - as most sane people will point out.

Just as everyone can sing, everyone can draw.

Even I will admit that I can draw with a sewing machine, it is just if you hand me a pencil . . . .

This month I decided to face my fear of drawing - I looked at some online sketchbook tutorials and then I went shopping and bought a Moleskine sketchbook, and a fistful of Sakura pens.

Earlier this week I started the sketchbook - a place to doodle and play - and already it is beginning to transform my leisure.

For the previous month I had been trying to get back into meditation but the itchy, nasty chattering inside my head had been too loud to allow me to sit and clear my brain.

Doodling though - drawing flowers and spiralling shapes, choosing pen sizes, focussing - seems to do what meditation used to do for me.

All that simple focus wipes out the worries and the pointless swooping internal conversations.

For anyone who would like to follow me into the world of sketchbooks I'd recommend Lisa Congdon's classes over on Creative Bug. The image at the top of the page is my take on one of the exercises in her sketchbook course.

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