Growth and a New #ArtChallenge
Being proud of my youth art days and redrawing a past piece.
I'm going to try this blog thing again, haha. I do have an "art blog" already which is my tumblr but it's more for tumblr's social media aspect than actually blogging. Tumblr is still all about micro-blogging. Sure you can write long-form on there but it's the things that appear "micro" and "quick" that gets shared more often. Plus, I wanna treat my website like the main hub that it is.
With that saaaaiiiiddddd, if you haven't seen me gush about my elementary drawings on twitter, here's the entire thread! Though on this post, I'm going to get into it a little more.
So in the midst of finding another book in the basement, where the thought of it already had me in a nostalgia type of mood, I ended up running into our (my siblings and I) Elementary School Memory Binders that my mom kept up with. She relinquished that responsibility to us when we got a lil' older but with kids being kids, we were like, "Uh...? No??? Boring??"
However in present day, I was curious and opened my binder for a quick peek when two "booklets" fell out.
Now I'm even more curious and highly amused (the picture with Sailor Moon was me detailing how I wished I had a lifetime supply of Sailor Moon Tapes lolololol) so, I decided to bring the entire binder upstairs into my "breakfast work area" which is like a...breakfast nook? Um. An island bar counter? Wow, I watch a lot of HGTV and I'm stumped on what it's properly called. Anyway, it's an area I sit and work at in the morning everyday because it sits beside windows and I like the natural light and view of the backyard.
I would provide a picture but nah.
Back to the story (I go on tangents, I'm kinda sorry), I laid the binder out and started walking down memory lane, starting with Kindergarten. There is information written by my mom where she details my age, what I felt at the time, my best friends, etc. Then there is a sleeve where she puts report cards, some assignments I did that year and most importantly: my art assignments.
Throughout the rest of the thread and adventure down memory lane, I had the itch to draw updated versions of a couple of drawings I did ~back in the day-day~. And the twit-fam unknowingly helped me decide which piece I should do first:
Sidenote: that's Krissi. I love her. Go follow her. She's great all-around!
With so many of the twitfam mentioning the dancer, I felt that, "Well, let's redraw her--18 years later."
This felt great to do. There are many times I feel pretty, "Meh" about my art but to see the side-by-side growth of Lil'Me and the Me of today is just--wow. I have a cfbg tip; comic where the tip was basically "make your kid self proud".
I think Lil'Me would be proud. I think she would be amazed that the grown up version of her is "sucha good drawer" (yup, I used to say that) and that she wanted to draw just like me. Lil'Me would be enamored that the ballerina is a little black girl with thick ass 4C type hair. I don't think the original was a black girl but the redraw would give lil'me permission to do whatever the hell they want and draw all the black everything. I would tell Lil'Me I coudn't've done it without their design and color choices--which are great. She'd probably ask if I did a storybook on the dancer so she could study the drawings and see if she could draw it without tracing it.
WHICH I SHOULD--do a book, I mean. Maaaaaaan.
Anyway, it was a great challenge and I'll have a better quality, close-up version of it in the sketchbook Patreon reward for my Martian Crow Members. Which, y'all, consider pledging and interacting with me over there. Get early access thangs and stuff galore. /endshamelessplug
And also, wouldn't it be a great challenge? Artists redrawing what their kid selves did? Or at least redrawing the "early embarrassing days of art" they did? It should be called:
Shoutout to mi madre for the name of it.
So go, swallow the mortifying feeling of revisiting how bad you used to draw when you first started and see if you can redraw it. See the growth you did actually have. I can't really help you with not feeling embarrassed about what you used to draw but if you redraw it, I'm pretty sure you'd be proud to see how much you've grown.
Someone in my twitter mentions told me the entire thread was brave of me to do because clearly I've gotten better. When I showed my sister, however, she gave me this face:
Lol, but I was so proud of myself and Lil'Me. I didn't think, at that age, I was an awful artist. Or even "meh". I remember feeling determined to get better. I was also a silent competitive lil' shit who made friends with those that were good at drawing so I can eventually be better than them (in my head). It was good healthy competition that was entirely one-sided, ahaha. But at the time I didn't look at my art as bad at all. I wasn't embarrassed doing it back then, I thought I did fine. And to those that were definitely more experienced than I was, I looked at them as mentors. They didn't know it, but I studied what I liked about their art and did my own twist to it that I liked until someone more experienced came around and the cycle continued.
I checked out picture books from our school library, and studied how the illustrator did their lines and characters--and did my version of it. I don't know when I started to feel "meh" about my art, but I know it wasn't during elementary school.
I am so proud of Lil'Me. I looked at all the things I drew in that Binder with pride. Maybe it's what I felt at the time when I first drew them resurfacing. Even when I first wrote short stories and little zines. It was all great because they were great, to me. At the time, my opinion on my art mattered the most. If I liked it, then it was "good". It was a successful piece. If I enjoyed doing it then it was also "successful". I made a mistake in the current dancer's redraw where you see the sticky note. I didn't like the position and way I drew the hand so I tried again on the sticky. Since it's in my "Ugly Drawings Only" sketchbook, I'm not mad that it's not "perfect".
"Rai, THAT is not ugly."
No, it isn't but having it in that sketchbook forces me to be lax about making mistakes and the the choices I make. I feel a lot freer. I don't know. I guess it's all--
So yeah! Wow, thanks for reading all of this. That's pretty neat. If you like what I do and would want me to focus on it more, see BTS goodies, check out my sketchbook on a monthly basis--or more, consider becoming a patreon pledger! You pledge what you want (that includes just $1) and adjust when you can/have to. I will continue providing free content on the ~webs~ but I would really appreciate the support. Patreon directly helps me out--
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Thanks again, and until the next blog post ;P