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079: The Good Medicine
Wherein we remember that art is good medicine...
Welcome to week 79 of the Draw or Die Newsletter. Before we kick off, some housekeeping:
PROMPTOBER is a week a way! You’ll be able to get all the details on promptober.com ( prompt rules, sponsors, prizes, etc) Big thanks to Ally (my wife and partner in crime) has been busy building that out, doing the mailings and really keeping the ship afloat behind the scenes. We now have confirmed prizes from: Blackwing, Field Notes, Makers Cabinet, Sketchbox, Sketchboard Pro, JL Lawson, Dango Products, and more!
✏️ One big difference this year: Even if you don’t complete all 31 days you can still be in the running for some of our sponsored prizes! Every prompt you draw will be a “ticket” you can opt in to one of the prizes at the end. The more you draw, the more chances you have.
🔥 Daily Drawing Club members will have the ability to get DOUBLE the entries because they will have a SECRET LIST coming out daily (with a special theme all month) - So if you’re not a member of the daily club, jump in there! Also you have until Oct 1st to get the Q3 member sticker. 🔥
The thing I dislike the most about art challenges is that many artists QUIT drawing for long periods when they fail to complete the challenge. So in this way, even if you drew ONE day, you can still be a part of something bigger at the end. Sound fun?
It’s important for artists to remember that ART is good medicine.
I’m not saying it’s a miracle thing that can totally cure cancer or what is physically ailing you… but on the mental health and emotional side? I’m certain of it.
I know on the surface I look like I have it all together now. And without telling you some “woe is me” tale, I want you to know the surface is never true. I come from a classic American dysfunctional family.
My parents were/are alcoholics. My mom, who I was not close with, pretty much disowned me when I was 5. She was an incredible artist & musician. I have early memories of her watching Bob Ross, and she had landscape paintings of alien worlds from Star Trek. In the end she died by suicide in her late 50s. (she drank antifreeze 🥶) TMI?
The point is…. I suffered a lot of abuse that I’m only now figuring out as a grown man.
Drawing and expressing myself through art has helped me privately sort all of that trauma. Even when I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing. And it will be a lifelong process.
I’ve been through the ringer as an adult too. A messy divorce after a wild 16 years of marriage. I’ve been fired. I’ve had good friends and family die suddenly… this is not unique to me. And I know I could have it a lot worse. I know by now that all the bad things mold us into who we are in the present, and who we will be soon in the future.
I count myself LUCKY by a lot of measures.
This is just life. Yeah, it can suck sometimes…
... but not ALL THE TIME.
Not when I am drawing & creating
There’s something about the act of creation that heals all that destruction in our worlds. The more we put that energy out there, the better and stronger we become.
And the DRAW or DIE CLUB has proven this to me. Over the past 79 weeks, having so many conversations (hundreds if not a 1000 by now, I don’t keep count!) with so many different artists, face-to-face, DMs, emails, I’ve heard a lot.
We have many artists with us in this group who have a disability.
Some have injuries, lost limbs, some are fighting cancers, recovering from strokes.
Some are just plain getting OLD. Arthritis can be a bitch.
But all choose to keep drawing or creating as much as they can.
Even when drawing can be physically painful, they persist.
That’s incredibly inspiring to me.
Because I always used to feel like I’d be done for if I had a major problem like that.
🌋 I have a tattoo on my right inner forearm of a stick figure jumping into a volcano and it says “ALOHA”. I got it during a fundraiser for the local tattoo shop’s daughter who had cancer. (she beat it, by the way) It was an inside joke, because I used to tell my then wife, that if I ever got terminal anything, I’d go jump in a volcano. “It’s volcano time!”
This is also upsetting to Ally now if I joke about this. Nobody want’s their friends or loved ones to joke about suicide. Did I ever really mean it? I dunno…. maybe. I even had figured there were helicopter tours where I could just surprise leap out.
Wouldn’t that be a cool & dark story for my grandkids to say? “Grandpa jumped in a fucking volcano!” A way better story than drinking anti-freeze, IMHO.
But I don’t feel that way anymore.
And I think it’s because of all of the conversations I’ve had with many of you. Hopefully, I stay lucky, but if a dark cloud should ever come, some surprise eruption, I feel like I’d be ready to ride through it, and I’m happy to draw until the very end.
We just keep dealing with the hands we’re dealt.
We adapt and evolve with the circumstances.
That’s all we can do, right?
…DRAW. EVERY. DAMN. DAY!
And if you’re out there and you ever need to bend an ear, DM us, or email me at email@example.com
🔥This Week’s Drawing CHALLENGE!
This week’s drawing prompt is…
🌋 THE VOLCANO!
Share your art and tag up #drawordieclub on the platform of your choice.
(we’re mostly on instagram)
✏️☠️♣️ Join the DAILY DRAWING CLUB!!!
Help support our mission here with five bucks a month. Getsome nice perks including a quarterly sticker, daily prompts at 5am EST and more. JOIN HERE!
Watch the latest Youtube video! 6 tips to CRUSH an Art Challenge!
Hope I see your art out there in PROMPTOBER!!!