Monday Motivator: Bad Drawing

The question “How old do you have to be to make a bad drawing?”, asked by cartoonist and teacher Lynda Barry on Instagram, had me thinking about how it is near impossible not to judge a drawing, yet it is possible to teach yourself to not be so emotionally invested in one piece. Give yourself permission to spend your time drawing and to use up your materials, to do another drawing and another and another.

What do you do with the drawings you judge to be bad? Turn the sheet over and use the other side. Draw into it with an eraser or paint. Keep drawing and see where it goes; you already think it’s bad, so what does it matter. Cut out a bit you do like. Don’t be too fast ripping it up but leave it a few weeks so you see it with fresh eyes.

2 Replies to “Monday Motivator: Bad Drawing”

  1. There have been some drawings I’ve made that have been so far from my intention that I’ve immediately ripped them out of my sketchbook and chucked them in the bin. But I have kept a lot of drawings that are what I would consider bad to mediocre. (Most fall in the latter category at the moment.) I do prefer to keep them so I can see the work I’ve done and my progress over time.

    And, like you’ve alluded to, sometimes I come back to a drawing the next day, or a bit later, and think, that isn’t as bad as I thought it was.

    Other than that, I just turn the page and make another one. 🙂

    1. That dread of having a dud drawing in a sketchbook is why I like loose sheets! Easier to throw it onto a shelf in frustration, to be judged again on a less emotional day.

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