29 September, 2015

Art is Not a Thing

Sunday Something September 27th 2015 - Callaloo Soup

Sunday Something September 27th 2015 - Callaloo Soup

I’ve started taking a weekly art class as a way to stretch my creative muscles.

Drawing and painting have always been those creative pursuits that I tell myself I suck at. I mostly blame it on my secondary school art teacher, who was an amazing and celebrated artist, but who had no right being a teacher.

I can still remember him sighing over my failed attempts to draw a snake plant, and he was almost abusive in his direct remarks to me, as well as in his notes in my report card. Art was the only subject that I failed at school.

My report card would be a string of As and Bs, and then art would be there at the end with Ds or Fs.

And in any case, why was art even assigned some kind of score?




I was so relieved to finally stop doing it when it became an option. So I turned my back on art, and focused on science. But the truth is I always wished I could draw or paint. Now all these years later after dabbling in some sketching on my own, I decided to go for it, and signed up for the class, after seeing the teacher (also a well known artist in these parts), demonstrate a few techniques.

I gotta tell you though, it’s hard! Cause when you start something new basically you suck at it right? And I suck so bad dudes. But I really want this and I know that it has to suck right now. My first scrapbook pages sucked, my first printable designs sucked, but now after lots of practice I am making pages and designs I love and am proud of. And I just keep telling myself that this class lasts for 10 months, so I can’t expect to be a master artist after only two weeks. Right?

Have you ever started something new and struggled because of how bad you truly were? How did it turn out in the end?


  • I know how you feel. I’m always doing graphic work, either making buttons at work or trying to create something for my blog, I think everything I create looks terrible. Most of the time I’m right though…

    • We are always so much harder on ourselves though. Keep at it! 🙂

  • Jennifer Priest

    Great points! But inspiring story – shared it 🙂

  • gknupp

    I say daily I wish I could draw, paint, make pretty art. But do I work on it? Nope. I, too, jump into things and expect to be great right off the bat. Good for you, taking these classes! I’m sure you’ll be so much better at the end {although, to my eye, you’re already good}. Happy Art-ing!

    • francinec

      Thanks! I am trying to go with it and be less self-critical. 🙂

  • It is hard to suck, isn’t it!? I am terrible at sucking. Ha. I want to quit and go back to what I’m experienced at. I’m currently trying to push through this feeling as well and I admire your courage for doing so too. Have you ever read “The Artist’s Way”? It’s so wonderful and it reminds me of many insightful points you make here about the process of learning something new.

  • I always wanted to take up drawing, too! Maybe someday. Yes, it’s so hard to be patient while we learn, isn’t it?