lesson learned

3 min read

Confession: I restarted one of my daily sketches. I told myself I wouldn’t start over. If the shading was weird or proportions not quite right I just wouldn’t worry about it and remember that this daily practice is for PRACTICE. Up until this sketch, there has only been one other time when I was tempted to start over. It happened on day two when I sketched bottlebrush trees in a little wooden bowl. The sketch was fine, but the scale of the wooden bowl was off and it felt so neutral and unimpactful. But I talked myself out of starting over reminding myself of the reason for me doing this. I posted to Instagram and sure enough, it is one of the most liked daily sketches so far. This little lesson boosted my confidence and resolve to just let this be an exercise in painting and not worry about perfection. And then earlier this month, I totally broke this resolve and started over on a sketch. I had good reason to restart and I actually learned something good from it. Let me tell you the story … On this particular day, I had been in a bit of a funky mood right from the start. I couldn’t quite identify what the feelings were – sadness? anxiety? pms? I didn’t know. Instead of quieting myself and really paying attention to the feelings, all I wanted to do was put a podcast on, pop in my headphones and clean the house. I think it was my way of shutting out the feelings and adding order to the areas in my life I could control. Healthy? Maybe not. But it keeps the house looking good! Anyway, when it came time to sit down to do my daily sketch, I did like I do most days and chose something that represented a piece of that day. A cute caddy of cleaning supplies seemed like just the right subject matter. I sketched the items and added paint to all of the little cleaning bottles. When I got to the last part – painting the caddy – I paused. My inspiration and the plan all along was for the caddy to be white. But I started second-guessing myself. All of my sketches are so neutral. Color would be more eye-catching. I’ll get more likes if it’s colorful. People are probably bored of all my neutrals. I was planning on keeping the caddy white but instead decided to go completely bold and do it red. From the second the paint hit the paper, I hated it. I’m not a red girl. I’m not a bold color girl. I’m not a red cleaning caddy girl. I tried to like it. Then I tried to remove the paint in an attempt to fix it. But it just became a soggy, pink mess. I had to start over. On the second try, I went with my gut and kept the caddy white. Yes, it’s neutral. It is subtle and dainty and doesn’t pop the way it might if it were a bold color. But I love it. It feels like me and I’m proud of this little sketch. I say it all the time and I guess I had just forgotten it myself: Do your thing. Don’t worry about what people think. Don’t do it for applause. Just do the thing in your own unique way and offer it freely to the world. Lesson learned.