I was talking to an artist-retired educator friend of mine about my new endeavor, drawing. I told her that I have tried in the past to learn to draw, and gave up all those other times. She believes anyone can draw, and I am in full agreement. All it takes is looking at what you are drawing, and drawing what you see.
Easy-Peasy? The thing is, like any skill, it takes practice, trial and error. And persistence. In the past, when I couldn't get it to look "real," I decided, I didn't have this particular talent, and gave up. But if you look at my bookshelf, you will see that I have been interested in drawing over the years.
I am motivated to learn because I am illustrating a book I wrote based on the play that I wrote - Pulani. I thought I might be able to collaborate with an artist, but I didn't think it would be fair to any artist to commit to a labor of love, until it sold copies. And I am on a timeline, since we are doing the play in Guam this summer. So, I decided to learn to draw. I was not sure I could do it, but now I am obsessed. And now convinced that everyone can draw. (Okay, maybe not blind people).
To "illustrate" my point. I needed to sketch out a storyboard for my book, but I hadn't practiced drawing all of the characters when I did. So, you will see a sketch of a deer that is, how shall we say, terrible. Later, I got photos of the Guam deer from the internet, and practiced. The sketch on the right is what I came up with after I used my photo models. It is not so much that I practiced for hours to get to this point of satisfaction, but that I used my drawing "eye," and then redrew until I was pleased. This is a learned thing. It may be a talent or an inborn genetic trait for some people, but it definitely isn't for me. Perseverance may also be an inborn character trait, but in my life experience, it is also learned.
Yes, if I can, you can too. Everyone can draw.
Diane Aoki is a writer who explores other modes of creativity as her intuition leads her.