Learn Something New

As part of this blog, I challenge myself to draw an image, sketchnote or hand-lettered quote every week. This has been a great accountability mechanism to keep me learning.

With my Graphic Design background, I find the hand-lettered quotes the easiest so they are often featured.

What I find really challenging is the drawing. I get critical in my head about whether it’s good enough or not. I compare it to other more experienced illustrators. It’s a harsh environment in my mind.

I have been spending a bit of time in the library as sort of an office and inspirational environment over the last 6 weeks and I found this book: How to Draw Classic Heads and Faces by Walter Foster Collectibles. The artwork is stunning; hand-drawn vintage ladies with striking eyes and lipstick and hair. Faces are really hard for me and I thought this subject matter would make it more fun.

How to Draw Classic Heads and Faces by Walter Foster Collectibles and sketches I did from the book of three women's faces in profile.
How to Draw Classic Heads and Faces by Walter Foster Collectibles; sketches I did from the book.

So I borrowed the book. I put it in my work bag and lugged it around everywhere with me for three weeks. I never opened it once.

Even though I thought it would be more fun, it intimidated me. Despite putting my growth mindset hat on and telling myself it’s a learning experience, it still intimidated me.

The renewal notice came around. You have 2 weeks to make the most of this, I told myself.

Then I scheduled my art practice.

I showed up with my brand new sketch pad (as if there wasn’t enough pressure already), a pencil and the instruction book.

It was so informative. The images were detailed and the instructions were clear. I put pencil to paper.

When I look at the drawings, it would seem that they were directly reflecting my state of mind. All of the ladies on the first page look scared, grumpy or sad; like they’re challenging themselves and they’re not sure about it.

Rugged, rough first draft of four ladies faces in profile sketched pencil and paper.
First Page. If you can’t tell, you’re too kind. I can definitely see the discomfort on their faces.

I don’t know why I expect everything to fall into place the first time. I know it is not likely but it still shocks me. It’s ok, I’m human. It happens. I’m learning to turn the page and try again. This time, happy, relaxed ladies. Progress.

Improved sketches as a result of practice.
Second Page. I could see a vast improvement as I kept practicing. They look much more comfortable and happy.

Do you know how satisfied I felt after that second page? My chest felt puffed up like a pigeon. I was so proud of myself for showing up, for persevering and reminding myself that I really enjoy this.

“I used to draw all the time as a kid,” I said to my husband, “I don’t know why I stopped.”

I’m determined to draw every image in this book. So hold on tight, there’s going to be a few classic figures coming up over the next series of blogs.

I’m not sharing this to let you know how awesome I am. I’m sharing it to remind you that starting is not always easy, but it can be so rewarding when you do.

Three sketches of the same woman's face. Each one an improvement on the previous one with the caption "practice, practice, practice"
Practice, Practice, Practice…

Now it’s your turn to learn something new. Is there a book on your shelf you’ve been meaning to read? Is there a new hobby or sport you’ve been meaning to try for ages but haven’t yet?

  • Identify the thing.
  • Recognise the procrastination as unhelpful.
  • Schedule it.
  • Show up for yourself.

It’s ok if it doesn’t turn out perfectly. The objective is to show up. I’d love to hear what you try. Let me know in the comments.

Be brave and curious,
Hannah

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Published by hanfitz.creates

I'm Hannah, a business coach for creative professionals. The world needs creativity and innovation: this is how we progress as humans. But, the creative journey is paved with challenges: we're told the story of the starving artist since we're children, our brain is hard wired to resist anything new (like creative ideas), we doubt our ability and worthiness to succeed and we crush our ingenuity with judgement and comparison. Yet, we know our purpose is to create. I help visual artists, designers and illustrators bridge this gap with my uniquely curated knowledge and experience of graphic design, finance, human behaviour and neuroscience. You have invested time and resources into their technical skill; now, it's time to invest in your mindset and strategy. After working with me, you can confidently communicate the value of your work, attract clients and charge what you're worth through multiple income streams. This frees up more time and energy to do what you're best at: create.

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