Thanks to the flourishing film industry in Atlanta, I’ve gotten the chance to make a few bucks on the side by doing extra work on tv shows and films. It’s not as exciting as it sounds, but all the sitting around gives me a chance to play with some pen and paper. Perhaps someday soon I’ll get to see these come to life! Do you like this pattern? What would you like to see it on?
Thanks to a doodle-a-day challenge from Ello Lovey, I have some little drawings from my sketchbook to share. The prompt for this was “your home”. First time I’ve drawn a portrait in I don’t know how long. His head is not really this misshapen.
Now that I’m an “adult”, I no longer have school assignments leading my art practice. This is liberating and terrifying. Without any limits, how do you chose to represent yourself? Wait, I’m wrong. There are definitely limits – the limits of self-doubt, financial resources, physical space, mentor support. I’ve been slowly and painstakingly inching towards finding imagery from within. While I could very easily just draw from life (and sometimes I do), my true self is only revealed in abstract gestures. What you see here is a small series from my sketchbook that I’ve titled “Lock”. They’re all 14 x 11 inches and done in Micron pen.
I envisioned these in my mind laying in bed one night, thinking about how to distill my mark to a pure form. They end up looking a lot like feathers or hair (hence the series title) and I love – yes, I love – how delicate they ended up. The movement in each line is subtle and sometimes strained, but always organic. It’s really difficult to take accurate pictures of my drawings, but I edited them to the best of my ability.
I decided to share this series as a part of the Love Yourself Linkup because the act of exposing my drawings is an act of self-love. It takes everything in me to be proud of myself. If you know me in real life then you know how ridiculously true this is. I’m terribly self-conscious about speaking about my work or showing my work – even more so if you’re my friend or loved one. So here I am, allowing myself to receive whatever reaction may come… including praise.
Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and become a part of the Love Yourself Linkup!
This post is part of the Love Yourself Linkup, an ongoing series focusing on self-image to foster an engaged community of writers and readers to connect, share, and love. Anne The Adventurer bravely revealed her struggle to recovery and began this linkup to encourage other writers to share their unique experiences and journeys. You’ve read a little bit about it already, but here is the longer version of how I became who I am today.
For the greater part of my life, success for me was determined by the grades I received. The number one goal was to be at the top of the class in all subjects and to use any energy I had to get there. Yes, I was the Asian cliché: a timid and quiet overachiever raised in a strict environment who just wanted to make her parents proud. This deep sense of obligation was engrained in me early on and the only way I knew how to exist was to strive for perfection and do what was asked of me. Straight A’s were a standard of normalcy and the only acceptable report to bring home. Anything less resulted in a loss of privileges and along with it, strong words of disappointment, grief, and anger.
It was tough adolescence, but please don’t get me wrong. I was given as much love as I was given discipline, but my parents just had a different way of showing it. They were wonderfully generous to me, just not in an emotionally expressive way. You could say my mom was a little bit of a Tiger, but this was her own flavor of motherly love. If she didn’t push me to be better, who would? I’m sure this was the thinking behind it, but unfortunately it took me a lot of time to accept it as a positive force in the grand scheme of things.
It’s been almost three full years since I’ve graduated, and almost three years since I’ve made any “works of art”. I’ve always been my harshest critic when it comes to producing work so I’m constantly having to tell myself that it’s okay to ease back into it. It’s okay to do a little bit at a time.
The most difficult obstacle for me is that I can visualize greatness in my mind and it always ends up feeling so far away.
Every now and then I’m confident enough to call myself an artist (as you saw by my last post). It’s been a lifelong war waged between my head and heart, trying to decide on what type of compromise to make in order to stay grounded and practical while still satisfying the urge to create things. For now, the heart is winning and I really hope it’ll stay that way.
The only thing left to do is begin.