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  • Anna Vanover

Hold the door!

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

Here we are smack in the middle of October! Many of those reading this blog will have 16 pieces of art completed and at least one floating somewhere between head and hand. Other takers-on of Inktober fun will have fallen into a state of surrender, despair or “hand me another Twinkie.” If these scenarios sound familiar or you find yourself somewhere between the two, don’t worry - there is still hope for exhilaration!

We’ve all experienced bursts of inspiration - those “I've gotta draw this later” moments only to find ourselves hours later with a blank page, a blank stare, and a blank mind. And we ask “WHYYYY???” Here’s what I think: I see inspiration and ideas as doors. At any moment of the day or night one of them may slowly creak open and reveal to us a glimpse of what it is we should create - RIGHT NOW! Most of us ride this out as a pleasant daydream and tuck it away in our mind’s file labelled “draw this later.” Unfortunately, waiting until “later” seldom produces


the same creative euphoria as that peek into the opened doorway does. My philosophy and rule of thumb is this: Don’t wait! Grab a napkin, Post-it Note, or bank statement and quickly scribble out what your doorway revealed. Words, pictures, cave drawings, song lyrics - anything and everything. In this way - wherever you are and whatever you’re doing - you have made your art and inspiration a tangible thing. Now that it has been committed to paper (or napkin or palm of your hand) it has become more than just a fleeting thought. It is now part of the physical world.

It’s been accurately said that, “life is hectic” and “time is precious.” I say, the real challenge before us is not finding enough time to draw each day, it's to remember the thrill of those A-HA! moments. It's to remember the pleasure of seeing an image emerge from our pen or brush, the intoxicating scent of ink and paint and fresh paper, and most importantly, why we love all of these things. It's because they feed our souls. We are artists - we have been gifted with a desire to create, even from a very young age. It’s not about the project, it’s about the process. Inktober isn’t about turning out 31 amazing drawings, it's about 31 chances to treat ourselves to our own amazing imaginations.


So, turn the knob and walk right through your doorway… and while you’re there, relax for a few minutes and let something, anything, EVERYTHING – roll off your pen and into being.





Seven doorways of wisdom:

Door #1: Always have a pencil or pen with you (crayons, lipstick, or burnt matches work too)


Door #2: Anything is a sketch pad - draw on it!


Door #3: Music is art - use it! Try drawing the way you feel when you hear a good song.


Door #4: Keep your preliminary ideas simple. Don’t get overwhelmed because you "want" a drawing to have many, many elements. Start small and build - or don’t build and leave it small. All art is up to the interpretation of the viewer so leave room for them to interpret! Often, less really is more.


Door #5: Think of your drawing time as something you do “for you” it’s not work - it’s play. Consider it a break that you owe yourself every day.


Door #6: You don’t need to hide away in a cone of silence to draw. Get the kids or others involved. Most people love to watch someone draw and they may have insightful input to offer.


Door #7: Everything is not a masterpiece worthy of an ornate frame or even a fridge magnet. This is about creative consistency. It's not up for critique, so be kind to yourself. Back pats for marks on paper!

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