096: Remember Your Calling
Let's answer the big question in this week's newsletter..
This week I wanted to talk about visualizing and designing your future self, but anothe thought crept in, so I’ll save that for NEXT week.
This week I want to talk about THE BIG QUESTION…
“How long have you been doing this?”
“When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?”
“Have you always loved drawing?”
I bet you’ve been asked that question in some form when people discover you’re an artist. Especially if they seem mesmerized by your ability to draw.
Drawing IS magic after all.
What I find interesting is that being asked it so much I found myself answering a little differently, and really reflecting on my own beginnings as an artist, when it started, etc. It’s been a neat re-discovery. Something I suggest you as an artist should meditate on. What’s your first memory of drawing or coloring?
For me, I have a distinct memory of holding crayons in my hands and being amazed I was leaving a mark behind. I wanted to draw EVERYWHERE and on EVERYTHING. And of course we’re immediately told not to. You maybe even get in trouble.
It’s pretty universal that all kids have this desire to draw on everything when you give them something that leaves a mark. And that usually there is an adult nearby to tell you…
Hell, I think I scolded my own kids for scribbling on tables and walls. I’m not sure if I would do it the same way now. (maybe buy washable markers and crayons)
I remember not coloring inside the lines, and some adult authority figure grabbing my hand and forcing me to “stay in the lines! LIKE THIS!”
When they would let go, I’d go back to drawing whatever, and I could feel their unhappiness with me.
Of course I wasn’t doing it out of rebellion. I was three freaking years old.
I had no idea what the hell I was doing. But I could feel the unhappiness in the room when I didn’t obey commands.
“f*ck you, i won’t do what you tell me”
I wonder now if these are the seeds planted in me that made me a more rebellious teenager later on. It’s made me have way more patience with children, that’s for sure.
Maybe the deeper, deeper answer for me now is that I knew I wanted to draw as soon as I knew I could leave a mark behind.
What about you? What was your first memory of holding a pencil? Scribbling? Coloring? Let me know.
And the next thing they say is …
“I wish I could draw like that!” or “I always wanted to be able to draw like that!”
I remind them that they still can. It’s never too late to start.
It’s not a “god given talent”.
It’s not fate.
It’s that you kept or didn’t keep that sense of wonder and imagination.
Stay curious, and abandon all fear.
That's the real recipe.
I’ve come to know and fully believe that we (humans) are all born creative and with a natural sense of wonder.
The thing that’s out of your control are the situations or family you’re born into. That usually dictates how long you get to keep that sense of wonder and imagination.
Sometimes It’s stripped away from you very very young.
And sometimes it happens later in life.
We get beat down. The world keeps telling us what we’re doing is pointless, or just a hobby, not a real job. Etc, etc.
If that’s happened to you, or you feel it happening, there’s one big thing you can do…
Remember YOUR CALLING.
Go back to your childhood. What was the thing you were most on fire about? Or search deep down… what topic or passion do you really feel now or then? How can you make art or storytelling around that passion? How can you dig deeper into that topic and become an expert? Are you already an expert?
My calling? For me, deep down it wasn’t art, or drawing, or comics in general… it was even more niched down into comic strips. 4-panel storytelling. When I think way back, I knew it when I was a kid. I knew it when I read Garfield and FarSide. I just KNEW.
I’m pretty damn good at it, and I want to get even better. I study it and think about it all the time. Even when I wasn’t openly admitting it. Even when it wasn’t my full-time job. I’m mesmerized by the topic.
The “job market” out there for that is pretty bleak. Syndicates kind of suck or are so low paying artists have to do their syndicated comics “on the side”. That’s sad to me. Because I truly believe there’s a BIG FUTURE for comics like these.
But I knew I couldn’t just TALK about it, I had to take action. And that’s how I ended up with a full-time job outside of the norm drawing comics again.
It wan’t until I really embraced my topic that I found or feel success.
This could also be a topic you’re dealing with or dealt with in life. Maybe you’ve gone through a dark time, bad marriage, bad job, a disability or illness. These are stories and art that can help others… and help yourself.
Question of the week is….
When did you “know” you wanted to make art? What’s your earliest memory of making art?
HEY! bonus tip, use this as an excuse to answer the question in a video or audio or art and post to your social media channels. Tag up @ drawordieclub and tag #drawordie so others can find it!
🔥DRAW the NEXT PANEL!
Our “community comic” continues. Basically works like this, I draw a panel, then you submit your panels in the Discord, then I draw… so on and so forth. You’ll be able to read the comic as it progresses here, and over in the discord thread….
Congrats to bgwlldraws72 for making the official panel 2 this week!
OUR DAILY DRAWING CLUB!!! ✏️☠️♣️
This week’s cover art is from Daily Drawing Club Member Jim Kessler. @kess937 on instagram. Give him a follow! The daily prompt was “ONLY ONE LEFT”, and this just made me laugh out loud. Always so much fun to see what people are drawing every day in there!
Join the club for juist five bucks a month and get some nice perks including a quarterly sticker, daily prompts and more. I’ve been doing some bonus blogs in there as well. JOIN HERE!!
Back to the drawing board for me! And I hope for you too!!!