“Every artist was first an amateur.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
The age-old wisdom “practice makes perfect” couldn’t be truer than in my journey with drawing. From the time I was an eight-year-old child fascinated by the flow of lines and forms on paper, to the adult I am today, still mesmerized by the magic of drawing, it’s been a journey of continuous learning and practicing.
I remember those early days when my uncle sat me down, a pencil in my hand, guiding me as I copied objects around the house. Yet, static objects only held my interest for so long. Seeking diversity and inspiration, we turned to the library, where I found myself entranced by the works of Jack Kirby and Charles Schulz.
Tracing their work was like decoding a secret language of lines and forms. It helped me understand how the masters saw and interpreted the world around them. It honed my line control and gave me insight into the essence of a great illustration—the shape.
But as I grew more confident, I realized that to truly learn to draw, I needed to break free from the shackles of copying. I began drawing by observation, a direct dialogue between my eyes, mind, and hand. This practice was transformative—it improved my hand-eye coordination and gave my drawings an authenticity that only direct observation can provide.
As I sketched and observed, I was building a visual library in my mind. It’s like a personal treasure chest, brimming with images, forms, and ideas that I can draw upon whenever I need inspiration.
My journey to becoming a good artist involved a lot of copying. But to aim for greatness, I had to start stealing—not in the literal sense, but in the artistic one. I borrowed bits and pieces from various sources, filtered out what didn’t resonate with me, and made what was left my own.
Then came a pause. College happened, and I found myself drawn into the world of web design. But even during those years of digital creation, my heart would occasionally wander back to the sketchbook.
A year ago, the call of the sketchbook became too strong to resist. As I began working on a children’s book, I found myself back in the realm of pencils and papers, back to my first love—drawing. Despite the years of hiatus, the passion was still there, alive and burning.
Now, I commit to drawing for at least half an hour each night. Every stroke of the pencil is a step forward, every sketch a testament to my progress. And progress, no matter how small, is always a victory.
So, if you’re reading this and you have a yearning to draw, go ahead. Grab a pencil, find a blank sheet of paper, and let your creativity flow. Remember, the key to getting good at drawing—or anything else—is practice, patience, and perseverance.