Monday, 26 January 2009

Draw Pard'ner...

Don't ever tell me you can't draw.

I hate it when people say they can't draw. It's like saying you can't ride a bike. 'Course you can, you just might need to practice a bit first.

Everyone can draw something. Some people can only draw stick men and thats fine, in fact thats brilliant - some of the funniest cartoons I've ever seen have been nothing more than stick men. Other people are amazing at drawing only one thing and have become masters at it. I knew a guy who could and still can draw a giraffe that'd knock your Serenghetti socks off. And then there are those people who are brilliant at everything - the people I'm in awe of. But it's not like there's a set level of drawing at which you can officially draw. I always disagree with people who don't draw because of lots of people who are better at it than them. If you applied that 'logic' to everything else then no one would play Sunday morning football in the park or sing in public or cook, or, well, do anything really.

The point is this: whatever your skill, be it stick man or Sistine Chapel, you can draw. And you should draw more, because not only will you get better with practice, honestly its, well...its fantastic.

Drawing cartoons specifically for individuals is one of the real pleasures in life - whether its a scribble on a napkin or a nicely inked pic of a private joke, there's nothing that makes me feel better than giving someone something to smile about. I don't put the ones I do for people up on the blog cos I think they're a personal thing, and anyway I never keep copies of scribbles I've done for friends (that's right, if you've got one then you're the only one!). And I love receiving them from others too: even the odd biro-drawing is enough to make my day better. We did it all the time at school: just doodling crappily drawn cartoons on bits of paper and passing them to each other in class to alleviate boredom. It was fun, it was personal, it was great. Certainly better than learning about Sales Revenue Maximisation.

You see, a scribble for someone doesn't have to be well-drawn, doesn't have to be funny, because above all its a reminder of something - a moment in life - just like a piece of music, a smell or a photograph. But its better than that because its even more personal. The amount of times I've been sorting through drawers or flicking through old books and laughed as I found a scribble from a friend or a hand-drawn Christmas card. There's something unique about it, something personal - knowing that someone took time, whether it was a minute or an hour or more, to put pen to paper just for you.

So here's the deal: don't ever tell me you can't draw. Ever. And then take five minutes out of whatever kind of day you're having to go and get a pen or a pencil or a felt tip pen or a crayon or a feather dipped in ink and something to write on (heck, some of my best work is on the back of beer mats), and draw something for someone. Anyone. Your best friend, your worst enemy, your partner, a family member, even someone you haven't seen in years and who you think has forgotten about you. Draw something, whatever you want or you can or you think the recipient might like. And then sign it, because I guarantee that it'll be better than you think and you should be proud of your own work. Whatever it looks like and however funny/unfunny it is, it'll mean so much to whoever gets it that they won't care. Even that wobbly lion or crooked stick man shows someone that you're thinking about them. Really, it means a lot. And in return you get the electric satisfaction of making someone smile and knowing you can after all draw.

So what are you still doing here? Get scribbling!


Abbi said...

After 3 months of practice, I can now draw the insides of snails, crabs and worms! (I still can't get those bloody scorpion legs though dammit...)