A couple weeks ago, something amazing happened and I’d like to share it with the world.
For the first time in YEARS — five, ten, who knows — I pulled out my sketchbook and drew. If you have read any of my intermittent posts here, you might have read this one here about my trip to Eastern PA. It was in the sketchbook I bought following this workshop that I drew for the first time in ages. The one that’s sat in my bag with a set of pencils just in case I ever had the inspiration.
And I did.
Actually, I’ve had a picture in my head for quite some time. See, I’m a very visual person. The whole artist thing, I guess. As a story unfolds in my head, I see it in pictures, movie-esque stills, or mini shorts. And sometimes, but not always, I see my characters faces. Most times, it’s a vision just out of my line of sight where I get a general IDEA of what my characters look like. Maybe it’s a smile, the way their eyes crinkle when they really laugh, or the firm set of a jaw when they struggle with emotion, but not the whole picture.
But I saw Tiani.
Tiani is a character in my first [officially] completed MS. Though it’s told through my main guy’s POV, Luc, I’ve seen Tiani since the beginning. Or at least how Luc sees her. I’ve always had a slight itch to sketch her, to put her on paper, to make her real, but shied away out of fear. I was terrified I wouldn’t like what I produced. That I would look at the CRAP I spewed on paper and it wouldn’t do Tiani justice AT ALL. To me, she’s beautiful, and I just knew I couldn’t match her beauty once I tried to make it real.
Then, one day, I decided it didn’t matter.
Sure, it’s been eons since I’ve put pencil to paper. Would it be prefect? No. Would the sketch be a perfect representation of how I saw Tee? Probably not. Would my technique show the lapse in practice and fall shy of meeting my self-instilled high expectations? Without a doubt. But that’s okay! Being an artist is much like being a writer, or an athlete. They all use muscles that NEED to be exercised on a constant basis in order to improve. And I hadn’t worked out in for-e-ver.
In the end, I’m happy with what I produced. She’s not perfect, my technique is way rusty, and I see loads of room for improvement. But for the FIRST TIME since I was a budding teenage artist, I’m okay with what I produced. I look at this sketch fondly with tears in my eyes.
She’s still there. My inner artist still lives inside me. She was buried deep, but with a little more exercise, I KNOW she will continue to thrive.