Warning: this post is basically a barfing of words reflecting incoherent thoughts and a perpetually confused and lost mind. Hope you still choose to stick around.
Sooo (noticed how I steered clear of using ‘anyway…’ so early in the post? Are you prowwwd of me? I am, sort of). I’m going to kick this off with a semi-melodramatic, semi-self-berating backstory-ish kind of intro because who doesn’t love those, amirite? Here goes *cracks knuckles* *slams keyboard* *cringes at my own failed attempts at being humorous*
The more I waste time scrolling through facebook and instagram, the more I realize how common it is for people to feel like they were once talented and had immense potential as children but eventually grew up either feeling or becoming mediocre and plain. And if there’s one cliché I can relate to (I can relate to a lot, actually, but let’s pretend otherwise for now), it’s definitely this one. I never really felt like a genius at drawing nor did I ever think I was amazing at it or anything, but I used to feel quite comfortable with it like it was my niche, my calling, the epitome how fulfilling life could feel for me. And even if I wasn’t great at it, I did feel like I was fairly decent at it or at least good enough to feel confident showing most of my work to other people without really giving it a second thought. But obviously, as the tale goes, you grow up thinking you’ll get better but in the process of being caught up in insecurities and seeing how amazing other people are and feeling pressured to be good at it, you actually get worse and even whatever little skills and talent you did have regressed.
There’s also the fact that as I grew up, it became more and more difficult to practice regularly but more than that, it became difficult to express myself through drawing. Before, expressing myself through drawing meant letting my feelings out by finding escape in that form, even if what I was drawing was something as simple as a tea-cup. The expression wasn’t the drawing itself, but the process. But as time passed, I too fell into that ‘I want to leave a mark’ abyss that most of my peers and friends fell into and when that happens, you feel more inclined to care about outcomes and being good at something rather than appreciating it for what it means to you or meant to you once upon a time. And because of that, you find yourself turning to it less and less because, whether consciously or unconsciously, you start believing that your connection to it bears no significance in the world and that you’re just wasting your time trying. And as much as that hurts, you eventually condition yourself to accept it and live with it without resistance.
I began to have the exact same relationship with writing, but more intensely so because I felt an even greater sense of belonging with words than I did with art and so the retreating from it without realizing it part was even more painful. But for a while now I’ve been trying to get back into the flow of both, mostly through art journaling, because the idea that you’re not obligated to be good at them and that you don’t owe anyone that self-imposed obligation finally sank in as a feeling rather than something I had to keep telling myself in hopes I’d genuinely believe it. I could go on about that almost epiphany, but I’ve already digressed a considerable amount, so I’ll save that vent for now.
But basically, the point of all that rambling was to express how much I like the idea of the Inktober trend because it’s a great way to get yourself to start drawing again in a way that makes you feel more connected to artists all over the world rather than intimidated by them. I don’t know how many years this trend has been around for but this is my first year following it (I only got on the bandwagon yesterday, though) and I’m going to try to use it as an opportunity to inspire myself through other people’s passions rather than degrade myself based on their work. And I even set some unwritten rules for myself (which I think I’ll write down later as well so they feel more significant) so I don’t end up wallowing in self-pity again too easily or quickly.
The rules are vague but they basically iterate the ideology I’m trying to embed in my thinking, which is that it’s okay if I’m not good at drawing or even if I completely suck at it as long as I’m trying and being regular and being honest with myself. It’s supposed to be an outlet and a creative space for me to be myself so even if all I draw is a simple square or a page filled with scribbles, that’s good enough because the point is to just keep drawing and just keep going, regardless of what I make. And at the end of the day, that’s all I really can do.
Hope you all have a great Inktober!
P.S. Because extra is as extra does and I’m congenitally extra, I tried to amp up how my power bank looks in a minimalistic and witty way yesterday. Of course, I failed at it (miserably), but I still felt like sharing pictures of it here just to be able to say something I don’t say often enough but repeat in my head a lot: I LOVE STICKER PAPER.
P.P.S. I’m not following all the rules of Inktober itself, such as posting every day or using the assigned prompts, but it’s not like you’re obligated to follow them so it’s all good I guess. Happy drawing! Or scribbling, whatever floats your boat.