Keeping the act of drawing a delight


I've been teaching basic drawing and also recently completed a Skillshare course on drawing quick sketches. And it's all good. But I've to remind myself to put that aside and also just draw for myself from time to time. Similarly, as a freelance illustrator, I draw for clients. But I find it's important to draw for personal fun and meaning too. If not, I might just associate drawing with something academic to something I have to get right for clients. Drawing is much more than that. It's something that can allow me to just chill and let my mind wander and explore at its own pace. I realise that I have to consciously make time for it. And when I draw, I don't really think hard what I should draw or whether it will look great on a blog or video. I just draw whatever is before me, whatever sparks my interest, or whatever will have meaning for me when I look back on it. Oh yes, and I also enjoy the pen or tool I'm using. When I do drawings like that, it keeps the act of drawing a delight. 

Here (first 3 panels) I drew while queuing for Thosai on a Saturday morning in May. Yep, I drew while standing. It's possible if I draw small in my A5 sketchbook. I drew one of my students before my pencil drawing class. Then, my mom and son, and then my daughter. As a habit, I try to do a variety of crops- wide shots, mid shots and close-ups. I added just 2 flat shades in Photoshop over the page. 


Oscar Solis said…
I really enjoyed this post. It speaks volumes. It is very easy to only draw because it’s your job.
Drawing for clients can be particularly fraught situation because it can be so time consuming and also because one get’s lost in to what the client’s needs are. I spent a lot of years where I drew in various styles, so much so that I lost any semblance of a personal style. It was only in 2014 that I decided to look for who I was.
Tara Kate said…
Well said, Drew! I am also a professional illustrator who makes art for fun. For a long time, my daily sketching practice was limited to my primary subject (birds) but after illustrating a book last year, I got very burned out. In a good way, this was a blessing because I diversified my drawing practice and found the joy again.
Andrew Tan said…
Hi Oscar and Tara, so nice of you to share you thought too. So from all 3 of our views, it seems like drawing for work does get us drawing in various styles, to diversify our drawing practice. So in that, it is actually good because it expands our skills. But perhaps it has to be a cycle where we come back to drawing in our own styles but bringing in what we’ve learned from client work, then going through the cycle again. In that way, we expand both out personal and professional work styles. And the cycle also keeps the delight going.