Skill Sharpening

From a very young age I have always enjoyed drawing. I would draw the dog as he slept, cartoons from the newspaper, and glasses half filled with iced tea which sat on the dinner table.

Doodling was the perfect time passer in class and otherwise. I would decorate letters to friends with block lettering, and sketches of puppies, horses, or animated replicas of the faces of friends.

In junior high I had the privilege of enrolling in yearbook staff class. Although my pre algebra grade continued to slip, academic probation wasn't an option. They needed my skills, my drawing skills.

When I ran for junior class president in high school, I painstakingly created posters of famous cartoon characters who supported my vote. I lost the race, but had the best looking posters by far.

In junior college I took all the beginning art classes that were necessary and continued to do well enough. I had my own art table and stool, complete with a bright lamp to help with close up detail, and enough money spent on art supplies to pay for a years registration and text books.

I then majored in art at the state college level. I failed my watercolor class, and squeaked by with a D in illustration. Art history bored me, and sculpting was messy. Gone were the hay days of thinking that I had skill. It was just a matter of graduating at that point, and then trying to figure out my next option for a career. Between waiting tables and running around the sorority/fraternity race, I wasn't practicing my skill and soon enough, my skill level deteriorated.

Thankfully, I graduated, and then decided to become a fifth grade teacher.

I don't draw much anymore. I'm out of practice. I cannot even doodle correctly, which goes to show you that when you don't practice something, you become worse at the skill instead of becoming better.

Writing is now my thing. I try and write every day. The more that I write, and read great writing, the more my writing improves. Practicing daily is key to improvement in any skill. And, when I'm sitting in meeting and begin to doodle, I get depressed.

Five years of art education, and I can't even draw a bear. However, I can write a great story about a bear, that is, if I happened to know one.


But you know, it all counts. What a great illustration about life in so many ways. I'm glad you write.