Sunday, September 15, 2013

iPad Sketch: Overcoming Fear with Paper

If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know that years ago my chronic motor tic disorder interfered with my ability to draw. I fought to keep my skills, but stopped trying in 2006 or so. I played at it from time to time, then I eventually stopped pursuing it altogether. I lost heart. I could remember how the pen was supposed to move on paper, but could no longer get my hand to comply.

Something terrible had happened. More than the loss of skill, I had begun to be afraid of the blank page. Drawing wasn't fun anymore; it was stressful. Anything I drew that didn't compare to the skill of years past represented failure to me.

Since August of 2011, my ticking has abated somewhat so I've been pushing myself to draw again. That train may have left the station for me career-wise, but I don't like to let fear dictate my actions, and I miss drawing when it wasn't work. So I invested in a Wacom Bamboo Duo stylus and started playing with Paper by 53 on my iPad last month. The above sketch was done on a whim while watching a k-drama. It's horrible, yet I was simply pleased that I let myself draw it without fear.

The next night I tried sketching on my iPad again. I was so embarrassed by the previous sketch that I was determined to improve, and I did. Yes, there are still flaws, I don't fully get how to use the various app tools, and my lines are petted in as opposed to confidently stroked, but there is definite improvement.

I suppose the lesson I takeaway from this is that big accomplishments can come from taking little steps. My journey isn't over with these sketches, but I have taken a large step towards taking back something my ticking stole from me.