Three hundred and sixty five days ago I got really angry. I was tired of the self-loathing, anxiety and frustration that accompanied my very sporadic drawing habits. I was fearful of ever being commissioned to do a piece of work because I was so out of practice. Three hundred and sixty five days ago I decided I had had enough.
When I hesitantly stated "I'm going to start a drawing-a-day blog." I had serious doubts that I'd see it through for any significant length of time. I knew my past track record with toughing things out and the odds were not favorable. So, when I hit six months, I was shocked... and I drew half of a cake to celebrate half of a year with the promise that I'd draw the whole one if I hit one year.
Well, guess what today is?
It is not possible to overstate what a massive accomplishment this is for me. I'll spare you the boring back story regarding my years of struggling with drawing regularly, etc. Just take my word for it... this is a big deal.
So now comes the part where I reflect on what I've learned in the last year and get all sorts of mushy about all the lovely people in my life that tolerate me...
(Before I go on: I fully realize that there are heaps and loads and bushels of people out there who are eleventy billion times more talented than I am. For someone who doesn't know me, it may sound like I'm being melodramatic. But as I've said, it's a big deal.)
My number one takeaway from this past year has been this: drawing is fun again. After I hunkered down for a few weeks, long enough to knock the rust off, I started noticing that I was actually improving. People would say "Sarah, you should draw _____." and I could say "Ok!" and actually have confidence that, YES, I could draw that.
Speaking of drawing requests... Shall I commence with the acknowledgment of a core group of folks who were integral to my success in this endeavor?
Do you remember that music video for the Blind Melon song No Rain? The video featured a little girl in a bee costume who spends the duration of the video trying to find a place to fit in among the non-bee costumed population. At the end of the video, she finds a field with people dressed in nothing but bee costumes just like hers and all is well with the world. That "core group of folks" I mentioned? These silly, silly individuals are my field of people in bee costumes. So to Scott, Carrie, Jim, Leslie, Ross, Alexis, Fred, Susan, Amy, Jonathan, Rob and Meghan... Thank you. Thanks for knowing me well enough to realize that no request is too strange and for enthusiastically cheering me on during the whole process.
My parents and my aunt have also had their share of requests and have been (lovingly) depicted one way or the other as have my co-workers. Muchas gracias to you all. You've all dealt with hearing me blather on about this blog more times than I can count... and your only lousy reward was being depicted in it.
Last but never, ever least... Josh. My favorite person on the surface of the planet and the subject of such a large percentage of my drawings that I (almost) feel guilty. My years of not drawing and hating myself for it were something he suffered with alongside of me. It affected him just as much as it affected me. He's always believed in me and always known what I was capable of even if I didn't. Josh has allowed me to draw him, has endured me picking his brain for ideas and has sloughed off my numerous rejections when he attempts to trick me into drawing something disparaging involving Benedict Cumberbatch (as if I ever would - psh!) So thanks, Joshie... you're a peach, a plum, a whole fruit salad. AFNMW, my friend.
So! Now what? I'm taking tomorrow off. Technically, I'll be teaching an art class tomorrow but I'm not going to sit down and DRAW draw. I think I've earned it, don't you? But the day after? I'm back to it. I don't trust myself enough to stop now and you know what? I don't want to stop now. I'm having fun!
I apologize for any side affects you may suffer as a result of my loquacity but all of this needed to be said. Thanks for toughing it out with me... not just today but for the last 365 of 'em as well.