Be a beginner, as we know, was last week’s challenge set to all us artists here at the AnLanntair’s Artist Support Programme. For this challenge I decided to grab some pencils and paper and have a bash at drawing for the first time in a long time.
Long, long before I ever picked up a camera I was obsessed with drawing, as a lot of children are, however around the age of 15 it became the time in my life to get ‘serious’ about my career, so I dropped art in school to do something that’d get me a ‘real’ job. For my 5th year at high school I took admin instead of art, something I’d come to regret. That was 18 years ago now and age 15 was probably the last time I was ever serious about drawing.
Fast-forward to the age of 18 where I was just completing the 2nd year of my Modern Apprenticeship in Business Administration and quite frankly just about tolerating the job I was in. I’d go on to tolerate this line of work for a further 11 years, however, after completing my apprenticeship way back then I knew that this line of work, for all I was ‘good’ at it, it just wasn’t for me!
The same year I completed my Administration Apprenticeship I started night school courses in Photography, because in my young naivety I had figured that since it’d now been 3 whole years from the last time I properly drew anything, I’d have lost my talent for drawing. Don’t get me wrong though, I loved photography and still love it to this day – which is why it’s now my chosen occupation, but in art, my first true love was drawing, so after 18 years, this week I decided to be a beginner again.
Starting with Printer Paper, an HB Pencil, some drawing pens and YouTube Tutorials on how to draw Disney Characters - I was firmly back in the drawing saddle. Disney and Pixar Animation had a massive impact on me as a child and still do to this day, particularly as my preferred style of drawing has always been cartoon(ish)
I got more serious about drawing as the week went on, using sketching paper, a variety of pencils and pens and coming up with my own concepts. I also joined Skillshare, a website designed for learning, with classes taught by leading practitioners in many fields including drawing, animation and illustration - I am absolutely loving these classes and the first two months of subscription are free of charge right now for anyone who might be interested.
I also took part in Noel Fielding’s Saturday Instagram Art Club, which is something he’s doing every Saturday afternoon throughout lockdown, so be sure to check that out too, if you’re looking to get involved in some art-based activities and need a little bit of persuasion from a zany and talented Public Figure. For the Art Club I drew an Ice Cream as the prompt given by Noel was Holidays.
I rounded my week off with a sketch inspired by life on the island and a pair of Blackbirds who’ve been visiting my new window birdfeeder regularly, I also pulled inspiration from the insane amounts of Starling’s that’ve been visiting the garden too, hence the colouring and speckles. I introduce to you - Stan and Soozie Mactweet, the product of a week back in the drawing saddle.
Now that I’ve started with this medium again, I really don’t want to stop, I even looked out an old easel I had from when I took a bash at painting a few years ago to allow me to draw without hunching over and giving myself unnecessary backpain. Not getting any younger – ha-ha!
My passion and appreciation for drawing has always been there since I was a child but it’s been fuelled again tenfold by this challenge, not only that but it’s also helped me to appreciate the work I do in Photography and is giving me creative ideas to bring to my medium as a Photographer, especially as I delve further into more artistic photography, which is very much in contrast to the work I do in my creative business as a Wedding and Family Photographer.
At times, with photography being my profession, it can sometimes feel like ‘work’ just to pick up the camera and it’s really been something I’ve been finding increasingly difficult recently. If you are feeling this way too – know you’re really not alone. However, being a beginner in a new artform has been very inspiring to me and has given me permission to immerse myself in learning something new, to create fun light-hearted characters, and truly helped me to find some calm and focus among the chaos.
Sending you all my very best and I hope that by sharing my story it might help to light a creative spark in yours.
With Much Love,