I know on this blog I talk a lot about how I’ve been drawing forever and all that. I’d like to think I am pretty good, but this art class I’m taking… It’s the worst! Well, maybe that’s not the right word. It’s hard. And not in a way that I feel challenged and motivated. It is hard in a way that makes me want to throw pencils across the room and drop the class. Feeling like I can’t do anything right really bothers me, especially when it comes to something that I am typically pretty good at. It’s like I am being robbed somehow, and I don’t like it.
It’s not the teacher, he’s actually really good at what he does and is quite good at teaching it to the class. That hasn’t been the case with every instructor I’ve had so far. Some just don’t seem comfortable with the material and others don’t explain things in a way that I can understand. This guy is a good artist and a good teacher, so it isn’t that. It’s more of the subject matter, I guess.
For one thing, I’m used to drawing things that I’m good at drawing. That’s part of the fun of drawing for me. I am not good at drawing realistic objects like a bowl of fruit, so I don’t draw them. I might go my entire professional career never having drawn a bowl of fruit, and I would be completely OK with that. I get that it isn’t really about the fruit, it’s about the concepts of shapes, texture, lighting and all that good stuff, but I wish there was something more interesting to draw where I could learn the exact same concepts. I will literally never look at my bowl of fruit drawing again, nor will it be something I will put in a portfolio to impress people that I want to hire me. I’d rather eat the fruit while I’m drawing something I like to draw.
For another, it threatens my habits. Like most illustrators, I’ve learned ‘cheats’ or shortcuts for things that I’m maybe not great at drawing. For example, I’m not great at drawing a full side view of a car. So whenever I am drawing an image that requires a car in the scene, I’ll draw it from the front or back. If it absolutely has to be from the side, I’ll make part of it outside the frame so you’re only seeing the section I can draw properly. That does not fly in this class. I’ve got to do multi-views of objects all the time. In the long run, I know this is exactly what I need – it helps me be a better artist, it rids me of bad habits (or just being lazy) and my work is only going to improve. Knowing all that does not make this part suck any less, though.
I need the class to graduate, so I am really trying my best to get through it. I’m passing, at least for now, and I intend to keep it that way.