Draw Because You’re Afraid

Sketchbook page with studies of arms

The white paper glows under my hovering pencil and I hesitate at its blank perfection. An idea dances in my mind, waits in my fingers. But there it stops, caught in mid-air like a bird in a net.

Why do I wait? Why is drawing a line so difficult?

I know the answer before I ask–I’m afraid to fail. Simple as that.

Art is a singularly cruel lover: she takes every one of your ideas and dashes them against the merciless bedrock of your own skill. If it meets the concept’s requirements, good! You have a success on your hands. If not…woe betide the artist who did not take time to practice.

But too often, fear of failing shackles you from practice–the sharpest sword in an artist’s arsenal. Oh, fear draws a very convincing spectacle. You know the color will be too bright–the line will go wrong–the drawing will not be accurate. Why even try, if it is to be so bad?

Sketchbook page with thumbnail sketches

Hogwash. (And the fear knows it.) In reality, the chance that the line comes out wrong is only proportional to your own skill, or lack of it. To be sure, your first few (hundred) attempts might be ghastly–just ask me–but as surely as harvest, your skill will sharpen and the line will come out right.

It just takes practice.

So, draw because you’re afraid! Put your pencil on paper and spit in fear’s eye. Practice for all you’re worth and expect results, as seed produces sprout. They will come.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

John 14:27

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