Practice or practise? Just as I figure out the difference, I read that practice can be used for the verb and the noun here in the States. I think I will play my British card here and still use the different spellings or the next thing I know I will be calling yams – sweet potatoes and tortoises -turtles. Language is a funny thing isn’t it, how it gets changed even when we are speaking the ‘same’ language.
Anyway, I was thinking about practising some drawing and how much I should practise and how long for and then the question which holds me back more than any popped up – Why?
I have a strange relationship with practising something, anything. I am happy to do it, but look at it as a waste of time, maybe not so much a waste but I unconsciously limit the amount of time I allow myself to draw or crochet or learn Photoshop (the last one is on my to do list…).
It took me literally two years to learn to crochet something (granny squares is where I am now at). I don’t think this is because I am totally useless at crocheting, I just wouldn’t let myself have a go and more importantly give myself the time and permission to get it all wrong, then start again.
What eventually focused me and rendered me successful was booking time with my friend’s Mum who sat me down and very patiently taught me, beginning with how to hold the hook and yarn (turns out to be pretty much the most important part). Once I was a captive student for an hour or two, I came away a happy crocheting camper. It also boosted my confidence when I spent a couple of weeks thinking I was beginning a blanket and realizing I was actually failing horribly at said blanket, but I had the basic skills to try something else. I once again gave myself the time to go to Creative Bug with my new skills and I followed the granny square videos and I haven’t looked back. Ok, I can only make granny squares, but I can also learn other stitches and go forward with another project (maybe different colored squares…..).
So now I want to do some drawing, actual drawing, not doodling which is what I do at the minute and I love it, but I want to be able to draw things instead of just shapes and squiggles. This realisation came up as part of my 100 days of making mandalas project. As I approach mandala number 50, I am liking the designs where I use actual drawings of things like buildings or fish or flowers or cakes the best. The problem here is that I can only draw very stylised things. I wanted to add a rooster to my barn mandala yesterday and had no clue how to draw the darn bird. Did I practice drawing a rooster? Nope, I just did suns instead, circles and triangles are so much easier.
This got me thinking that I need to get some drawing practise completed if I want to get better and not just keep doing the same old same old.
So how can I get myself to practice?
1 Go to the library and stash myself away in one of the reading nooks with my sketchbook.
2. Follow a book like ‘One Drawing a Day’.
3. Make myself a challenge to draw something everyday for a month.
4. Get a pretty sketchbook and fill it with drawings.
5. Reward myself when I get to milestones – 10 drawings, 25 drawings, filling a sketchbook.
6. Get together with a group to draw.
7. Ask the art teacher at school if I can draw in the art room when there are no kids.
8. Sit in the park and draw, take a coffee and a book to read for breaks.
9. Allot myself a time to draw every day or every other day – 10 mins, 30 mins, a weekly hour or two.
10. Concentrate on one subject and only draw that for an hour/10 mins/two hours.
11. Give myself a project like decorating a journal cover or designing some writing paper or cards.
12. Enlist the kids in a drawing half hour, all sit with sketchbooks and tell each other what to draw.
13. Connect with someone with similar interests (online or in real life) and set goals to be accountable for – I am game if you are!
14. Allow myself to read books about drawing/painting for inspiration.
‘Allow’, that is the word isn’t it, allow myself to take the time. I allow myself to waste 10 minutes on Facebook, why not 10 minutes drawing? Because it is harder and I might mess it up, I might not think of what to draw and what am I drawing for anyway? Isn’t there washing-up to do and floors to clean?
I am going to allow myself to practise drawing, hopefully every day. I will let you know how it goes. Is there anything you need to allow yourself to practise regularly? Let’s do it!