Awesome people are my favorite people, and when two awesome people get together it’s like my heart is riding a bike downhill, feet not on the pedals, while laughing and eating ice cream (a.k.a. a good feeling). BC and I had two very special friends get married last July and I knew I wanted to make something with my hands to celebrate one year down the hatch (does that saying work here?). Before I talk about the process of
getting over your fear of drawing making art for your friends I want to show you the video I made for the lovely couple of their wedding day.
So other than being awesome and funny and sweet and total nut jobs, Joel and Ashley have another perk: Their last name is ‘Falconberry’. Yes. All the things you’re feeling right now (shock, happiness, jealously, intense jealousy, acceptance) is all normal. When life gives you friends that have a badass two-noun last name like Falconberry, you draw them a picture and give it to them.
Drawing is easy in theory. You take a utensil that leaves a mark behind and scratch it against a surface to make a picture. Yet do you know that every time I talk about drawing I get the same reaction? “I wish I could draw.” Literally not one person has ever responded with “I haven’t done that in years, I should give it a try!” or “I’m actually a pretty good drawer.” Nope. It seems we’re more intimidated by applying graphite to paper than committing to neck tattoos. What in the world has gone wrong?
I do get it, though. Because shortly after sitting down to work on the Falconberry piece I found myself in the kitchen, eating bread and brainstorming alternative gifts to give them; my sketchbook closed in the other room. It was easy to think about the drawing, it was much harder to bring the drawing to life. After a monologue to BC about how I just wasn’t good enough and how stupid everything I ever make is, he gave me a soft and sobering pep talk; let go of the perfection, let go of the standards, just go get started. So I did, and guess what? Once I gave myself permission to draw something ugly, I started drawing something better. My lines started becoming more frenetic and loose and before I knew it I had two falcons staring back at me.
I’ve had lots of project ideas over the years that never seem to happen. I spend lots of time and energy researching and talking about them until the steam runs out and I’m a safe distance from the starting line. Let me tell you something from this very recent experience: Ideas aren’t fulfilling. They can be energizing and entertaining, but actually giving an idea a try is as humbling, exciting, challenging and fulfilling as it gets.
I dare you to sit down and draw. I double dare you to allow yourself to draw something ugly. I double DOG dare you to put as much love as you can into that drawing, wrap it as beautifully as you can think of, and give it to someone you care about. The marks you leave behind will be well worth it.
Until next Wednesday
(P.S. I welcome (nice, kind, sweet, gentle, funny) punctuation advice)