how to start And Why you stopped drawing

When some people see my
illustrated journals, they

say, wow, that’s great.

I could never do that.

But with a little coaxing,
they can be persuaded

nonetheless to give it a try.

And others say, wow,
I’m gonna do that.

And they start too.

And quite a few say, huh,
where do you find the time?

And then they use my
journal as a coaster.

It’s comparatively easy to
start to bring yourself to draw

your breakfast once or your
coffee cup once and to keep

it up for a couple of days.

Now, ideally, those first few
days infect you with a fever

and you’re compelled to carry
a long series of sketchbooks

around with you for the rest
of your days, but more likely

your initial passion could wane.

And you’ll forget
to do it one day.

You’ll give into resistance
the next, and then you’ll feel

like you’ve broken the chain,
that the, the narrative is

lost, that a month’s gone by
and you drop it all together.


Well, often it’s because you’re
disappointed with your drawings.

You may say you
don’t have the time.

You forgot your sketchbook.

You grew bored.

But it’s really because
you aren’t that impressed

with your drawing skills.

You haven’t made something
that looks like art.

I don’t think that illustrated
journaling is really about

doing great drawings.

You’re not out to make something
that you could frame or

give as a Christmas present.

I’m not really into doing
the sort of exercises on

perspective and tone and.

The kinds of things that you
see in, in most drawing books,

exercises that move your skills
to another level technically.

Not that you shouldn’t do them
if they’re fun or if you have

some other goal in mind, but
I don’t think that they’re

essential for the true purpose
of illustrated journaling.

So what is that purpose?

Well, it’s to celebrate your
life no matter how small

or mundane or redundant.

Each drawing, each essay,
each little note you write

to commemorate an event or
an object or a place makes

it all the more special.

Celebrate your hairbrush and
it’ll make you appreciate the

intricacy of the bristles or
the miracle of your lost hair.

The beauty of you.

I mean, it sounds sappy,
but it’s in there.

Draw your lunch and
it’ll be a very different

experience from just wolfing
down another tuna on rye.

If you take your time, and we’re
talking maybe 10 to 20 minutes

here, folks, and you really
study that sandwich and you look

at the nooks and the valleys and
the lin of the lettuce and the

textures of the tuna, you’ll do
a drawing that recognized the

particularity of that sandwich.

And that’s the point to record
this particular moment, this

sandwich, not something generic.

And if you approach it
with that attitude, you’ll

create something unique.

And reaching that place is just
a matter of concentration and

attention, A brief meditation,
and you’ll have this souvenir

to jog your memory back to
that moment forevermore.

Imagine if you can keep doing
that, keep dropping these little

gems in your day, recognizing
the incredible gift that

you are given each morning.

Upon awakening, you’ll
be a millionaire.

There’s a demon in your mind
who’s gonna fight this, who’s

gonna tell you that your life
is not worthy of acknowledgement

of celebration that today sucks.

Through and through.

It’ll tell you that you
have no time for this, that

you’re too hairy, that you’re
too stressed, that you’re,

you’re under the weather.

Which brings me to Mary Beth,
who wrote to me from Nebraska,

where she just had emergency
eye surgery and for two weeks

all she could see was the floor.

But that didn’t stop her.

She drew all of
her visitors’ feet.

She pulled art out
of that tragedy.

She celebrated her visitors.

She created a positive
memory that she’ll have

to cherish long after her
vision is back to normal.

Her nightmare became a lesson.

You know, I’ve encountered my
own fair share of obstacles in

life, and my regret is that I
didn’t celebrate all of them.

I can’t say it often enough.

Life is short.

Art is long.

Get the habit.

What I just told you about is
based on an essay that I wrote,

uh, an essay that I send out
every Friday and I would love

to send it to you and to send
you another essay next Friday

and so on Essays that I hope
will inspire you, amuse you.

Make you think and you
can get them for free.

Just go to
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