Growing up, I had always liked drawing. My great-aunt Flora Wood was an artist, and hung out with Picasso, Man Ray, and Salvador Dali (for reals). I used to send her my paintings. When I say paintings, I actually mean the kind you make in kindergarten by smearing paint on half a page, folding it in half, and smooshing it to create some multicoloured Rorschach thing. She told me she hung one of them above her fireplace and visitors mistook it for one of her own works. I was in kindergarten, and therefore absolutely believed her.
But anyway. I went to art school. I chickened out of an Masters of Fine Art and went the Art History/Business route. And I certainly don’t regret it. I am fortunate that pretty much on a daily basis I still get to use and develop my creative skills at work. Colleagues come in an apologetically ask if I can work on layout or design new material. That’s the kind of work I love doing.
When I do design for work, it’s great but it’s limiting (have you ever had to do bilingual layout? I mean French, I love ya, but why must you take up so much space?). Every now and again I’d go on a personal creative binge, normally over a holiday, when I would knit an entire sweater, or paint a series, or blast through my contribution to The Sketchbook Project in a handful of days. But then I wouldn’t create something for me again for weeks at a time.
So I set myself a challenge. It’s not a rare one. They exist all over the interwebs. I just want to create something each day. Specifically, vector drawing, because I’m not super awesome at it and want to be super awesome at it.
I posted one to twitter yesterday and got awesome feedback. Twitter folks, I love you guys. I’ll be posting my creations here. And yes I take requests. Here’s my handiwork so far:
I was talking to a friend about getting out of slumps. And it’s not like Lululemon’s manifesto bags that instruct you to drink water and do one thing a day that scares you was going to solve our problems. For one thing, I’m not scared of that many things, and I’ve already SCUBA dived several shipwrecks. So there.
When things are getting overwhelming, or just not going my way, I need to be able to accomplish something. Something small, something manageable. But it kills my slumps. And making a little vector drawing, some homage to a shared pop culture experience, does the trick for me. So there you go. My secret to inner happiness:
Find something you like doing, and then do that.
(Watch out Oprah, there’s a new name in life coaching)
And, as a final shout-out to Picasso:
What do you do to get you out of your slumps? What’s your retreat to boost your confidence? What should my next drawing be?