I mean have you seen bears? They’re just so interesting. They’re kind of composite animals, when you think about the “basic” animals that we all kind of gravitate to as kids: they have snouts like pigs; they have a long muzzle and fangs like a wolf; they have sharp claws and roar like a lion; they’re chunky and fuzzy like gorillas – they’re like a real-life Chimera if you ignore the existence of monotremes.
Why do I want to draw bears? Because it’s 1) something I can’t do to my liking and 2) is not all the other stuff I’ve made plans to do, failed to follow through with and am now wallowing in guilt for being so slack about.
I said that I’d be updating regularly about my writing, because I was going to force myself to work on my novel and finally get it finished this year. Neither of those things have happened since I made that commitment, and wanting to draw bears may just become my new euphemism for “I should be doing something else, but I don’t wanna”.
Wanting to draw bears also has another motive, however: recently I’ve come to accept that so many of my really vivid, gripping ideas just don’t sit well in written language alone. They need illustrations – or, more accurately, they are illustrations. And I’ve just been so down on myself and my drawing ability (among ten zillion other things) for so long that the idea of even trying to draw these ideas that are, in fact, drawings has only been something I’ve dabbled with, tentatively and with predictable results – I don’t feel like I can draw, so I don’t try, so I don’t get practice, so I don’t think I can draw, so I don’t try, so I don’t get practice, repeat ad nauseam.
Well, both my writing “hiatus” and self-loathing of my drawing capabilities are going to stop tonight. I am currently at university, waiting for 4:25 so that I can head to my supervisor’s office and get some feedback on my research proposal draft. And once that’s done I’m going to go home, not play videogames, and 1) make a start on putting the plan of attack I have for Tallulah into action, and 2) draw a fucking bear.
And here’s the thing: I have drawn bears before. One of them was very cartoony, which was what I wanted and that went well. The other one was actually pretty realistic and impressive, the result of my copying from stock images I found on Google. I was pretty damn happy with the result, and I think that’s what I’ll do again tonight. I also have a couple of books on drawing which I think it’s high time I cracked into.
So, some goals: by the end of this year, I want at least a third edition of Tallulah in my hands, preferably with notes and feedback, but at least ready to be sent out to test readers for said feedback. By the end of this year, I want to be able to play a fucking F-chord on my guitar. By the end of this year, I want to have been working out consistently every week for the remainder of the year. By the end of the year, I want to be able to ride my bike around the block at least three times without getting winded. (It’s not a big block.) And by the end of the year, I want to draw something very specific, a drawing that I’ve wanted to draw for a couple of years now. It’s not even a difficult drawing; it’s Disney characters, and you’d think those would be easy, because they’re already designed to be easy for any artist to copy and then draw seven trillion times, because that’s how animation studios work. I want to be able to draw this thing, and I want to be able to draw it without a reference.
And finally, I want to draw a lineup of characters from my various stories and other projects that have characters in them, find some way to scan it if I can’t make it a digital drawing, and make it my new banner. As proof. Hell, maybe I’ll actually start using my Deviantart account (or, more likely, make a new one).
It’s the same old story: I haven’t been writing because I’ve been stuck with literally every goddamn thing in my life. But every time that happens, and every time I take the time to write it out and process it, I find a more effective way of moving past it. In the end, all that matters is that you learn something. And today I’ve learnt that I want to draw bears. So I guess I’ll go do that.