Draw What You See

Nov 20, 2014

When I was in college, I had to take a number of drawing classes that were part of getting an art degree. I was there for graphic design and had very little aptitude with traditional fine art growing up, so there was a anxiousness to starting the first classes.

My professors told me to just look and to draw what I saw. Ignore my conceptions of what an object is or what it should look like and to simply draw what was in front of me. I was a lot less naturally talented than my classmates but my ability increased noticably week over week. As I continued to do studies and exercises I came to the realization that the secret sauce of learning is time. Spending at least 10 hours a week as dedicated time to look and draw changed not only how I drew and designed but also changed my understanding of learning.

Before I entered the classes, I was convinced that I simply didn't have the talent to draw and that I was sort of relegated to what could be done on a computer. I was a lot less naturally talented than a lot of my classmates but my ability increased noticably week over week. As I continued to do studies and exercises I came to the realization that the secret is time. I wasn't capable with computers or design until it absorbed all my time. Thinking time, working time, school time - more than my talent these developed my skills to where they are today. I became better at drawing than some of my peers who I originally thought to be quite talented, simply through time and practice. This propelled my learning even further, as I could be confident that I could continue to improve by spending more and more time.

This is a long way to say that I'm enjoying drawing again, because I'm enjoying learning. Coupled with a more recent realization that not everything I produce in private and in practice needs to be polished, my hobbies can be rewarding instead of stessful. Hopefully my experiences can help you enjoy learning something new or taking back your hobbies for yourself.