Monday, November 19, 2018

Where there is a will, there is hard work and result

A year of daily sketching! Yes, I did it!!!
When I started sketching daily a year ago, it was just as a committment to the word I gave someone I'll do daily sketch no matter what. Apparently, that person saw a potential in me as an artist. It is one thing I am still struggling to believe unconditionally, even as I complete a year of daily sketching.
Yes, the journey was tough. Some days I enjoyed the drawings more than anything. On others, it was just a chore I had to finish before I hit the bed and called it a day. On a few days, I even questioned myself - why am I doing it at all ..
Nevertheless, I stay put. Why? Mostly because I gave my word to someone who believed in me. My theory was if someone believes in me even without having me proven my worth, I should at least show my gratitude by not giving up. Also, I wanted to prove myself it can be done. So on I went with my tryst with lines.
I think slowly it became a habit. I couldn't go to bed without drawing at least for a minute. I remember one time we went on a trip and, after a particularly tiring day, I went to bed all exhausted and fell asleep. And then suddenly, I woke up with the realisation I didn't do my daily drawing. I could sleep no more. I got up, took my sketch pad and pen, went to the bathroom (because my entire family was tired and sleeping peacefully) and did my daily sketching there. Did I draw a great picture? Probably not. But I felt good. Despite the tiredness and exhaustion, I felt happy and satisfied.
And that's my takeaway from this whole exercise. A new understanding of myself. I was always envious (still am) of people who could draw well. I am amazed by the talent I see all around me. The veteran artists and upcoming artists make me feel so inconsequential... It was like I was nothing & could be nothing. I thought I can never be like them.
And now I know that is the truth. This year of sketching has made me aware of it. But the most important lesson I learned is - I DON'T HAVE TO BE LIKE THEM. Yes, I have finally realised the competition is not with anyone else. It is with myself. I can't be anyone else. I shouldn't be. Some of them are inborn artists. The others might have spent years learning and shaping their art. What was I doing then? Just wishing to be like them and not doing anything about it.
In the past year, I understood I have been unfair to myself by comparing me to others. They are what they are because they worked to be what they are. I am what I am because I worked (or didn't) in my particular way. This is my journey. Good, bad or ugly, this is my art. My thoughts and lines tell the story my way. It doesn't have to be any other's story or style.
Perfection is not what makes a good artist. It is the journey that allows one to understand it is ok to be imperfect. No picture is bad because it is not a perfect depiction. It is good because while trying to create it, you got in touch with your soul. At least for a few moments, you forgot everything and revelled in the joy of creation. There was nothing to stop you from being happy to draw that simple line on the paper or dab that particular colour on the canvas.
This year was a journey of self-discovery too. Of forgetting limitations and taking new steps. I know that it is not the joy of acceptance but fear of rejection that had dictated my actions earlier. I couldn't take rejections. I always felt I was not enough. My efforts were not enough - whatever I did wasn't enough. Or so I thought.
But, the reality is, you can't please everyone. For every person admiring you, there could be ten saying you are not good enough or would never be. The trick to grow is shut your ears against naysayers. Ignore them. Hear your soul speak to you. More often than not, it will tell you where to go and how to go.
I am glad that I have finally realized my worst enemy is myself. Self-doubt and undue comparison along with a feeling of not being enough is what stopped me going ahead. Now, as I know my path is my own and I have to create my own legacy, I experience a strange peace. I am here to compete with myself and to better myself. My struggle is within and once I truly master myself, I know nothing can stand in my way.
After 3-4 sketchbooks and an amazing year, I can proudly say I have made the start. I am confident of going ahead and reaching the goal I have set for myself. But before I go on, thanks are due to some special friends and dear ones for believing in me (even when I didn't believe myself) and helping me see clearly. I hope one day you will be proud to have known me, as I am proud of you. Thank you!
Here is a small sample of what I did. Some you have seen before. Some you haven't. Some are good, some are just lines.... I didn't want to share only the good works because there were some really bad ones too. Accepting that has been a huge step towards growth. A few digital drawings are also included - these are essentially results of the shortage of time...
PS: I hope at least one person reading these lines would be inspired to do something they always wanted to but didn't attempt because of self-doubt. Remember, it is ok to fail and fall. You are not defeated until you stop trying. Also, success is not always about earning money or praise. Sometimes, a smile on your face and the content you feel inside is the best reward. Try it - you'll like it better than anything.





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