Sunday, January 1, 2017

10 Years of Drawing

On January 1, 2007, I resolved to draw every day.

It began as a reaction to the realization that— almost 10 years after my mom's death— I was still depressed and had seemingly stopped drawing, something that had always given me joy, something which I felt was a really intrinsic part of myself. So I started this blog, Project 365 (subtitled Draw The Line, because I'm Filipino and love a terrible pun) with the mandate to draw something—anything, good or bad—and post it here as proof that I did. And I have.

It hasn't always been easy to do. Sometimes I would be late in posting. Or if I missed a day I would do make-up sketches to ensure I uploaded at least one drawing for each day even if it was a bit late. Some days I would draw a lot (usually when I attended drawing salons) and post multiple sketches, but those didn't count for the next day. Come the morrow, even if I didn't feel like it, I had to draw something new, be it a doodle, a terrible sketch, or even something I did just to satisfy the blog's requirement of a daily drawing (you might find entries for a "2 minute fish" or some such conceit among the thousands of sketches on this blog). But the blog was an excuse to maintain the discipline to draw everyday, and it worked.

And it's certainly been good for me. I've learned a lot more about my own abilities. Practice doesn't make perfect, but it certainly does help you improve. The daily practice has been amazing for amping up my skill set, and for letting me know that the more I draw, the more I have to learn. Lord knows I cringe at some of the things I've drawn over the years, but hopefully that means I'm improving.

I didn't require myself to post a finished drawing but just whatever I drew that day, so sketch updates counted. Which is a good thing, because there were days I found myself agonizing over a pose or face, constantly retooling  day after day, and posting those updates. For those who followed my blog though, they might have been treated to the same face updated over multiple days with a new nose each time.

And it didn't matter who saw it (and frankly, I have barely any followers here, because really, who goes to blogspot anymore?) but I was very happy when people appreciated what I put out here. But it was never about finding a huge audience anyway. The audience was me. The blog was just a way to tell myself to have some discipline and draw. every. day.

My first drawing was done on January 1, 2007 (even if I posted it on the 2nd), just a ballpoint doodle done on some random sheet. Ten years later, I have over 3450 entries here. It's quite amazing to think about. I hope to continue doing so for 10 or more years to come.

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