There is a strange bit of pleasure to be found in drawing. A happiness in jotting down your thoughts and finding that it forms an image on the paper. I call the pleasure strange because everyday, I still find it faintly unbelievable that I have the ability for it. I’m not good at drawing or painting. No one would every call me an expert, but I’m not bad either, and I believe that to be an incredible piece of luck for me.
I’ve always fancied myself a writer. I spent my days inside libraries and in bookstores. If ever I drew, it was only in school when the teacher bored me and I could not sneak a book to read. The teachers had cottoned on to what I did, and I could not bend my head down for any length of time without them getting angry with me. Oh, I admired people who had the talent, and envied them their passion for it, but I never could quite find the same passion in myself. Instead, all my dreams were of books and writing. Strange worlds. Strange creatures. Strange cultures and practices. All in my head and waiting to be written.
Which is why I call myself lucky, because despite all the time I’d spent on reading and writing, every time I picked up a pencil and decided to draw for a bit, I seemed to get a bit better at it. Oh, not fast. Most times, I find myself unbearably slow at it, and I stop. But somehow, through all those years spent mostly reading, I seem to have picked up the knack for it, just enough that when I draw, I can get the faces right at least.
I’m still horrid when it comes to arms and legs, and any sort of anatomy whatsoever. But faces make me happy, because with just faces, I get to see what my characters look like if they were real. My head is too much of a scatter-brain. I forget things too easily, which is why I must write them down.
I wonder when it was that I started bringing a notebook not to write in, but to draw in. I think it was in the middle of college. I was in a bit of a crisis. I was bringing myself down and getting all dull and grey. Classes were a pain and I seemed to stop moving. Just. Stop. Moving. Life slowed for me and I couldn’t find the energy to speed it up again. I started skipping and getting late for things. I didn’t submit projects on time. I didn’t even bother remembering my teacher’s names, or my classmates faces. I kept forgetting dates and losing touch with reality. I wasn’t going crazy. No. Just escaping, for a bit. And my books didn’t help at all. Instead, they just helped me escape more.
But drawing helped. I don’t know why. There is a strange bit of force to be found when someone draws, as if gravity pulls you to the person, tempts you to look over his shoulder, peak at what he’s drawing, and ask questions. Truly, I don’t know if this happens to everyone, but because I drew, here and there, I seemed to have found friends. New friends. People who talked more and had such energy. Sometimes, I feel a bit like a plant, soaking up all that energy, willing myself to get excited, to join it, to move, to act, to push myself into reality.
There is an openness to drawing that I haven’t yet found in my writing. An easier path for finding people, for finding fun. Writing is fun, but it’s a lonely sort of thing. Right now, I write. But I draw too. And I count myself lucky everyday for having the knack for it. For somehow, bit by bit, year by year, finding the ways of it. Just enough, just enough, that I sometimes get things right. I’m happy when I draw, and when I write. Someday, my stories will be both.