Look, Ma: I’m Drawing!

My new life as a cartoonist (ha!) continues.  I have mapped out the entire series for Adventures in Racism and have two additional series already percolating.  My brain is suddenly full of this stuff.  How does that work, I wonder.  Do I go from a person who has never illustrated anything to a person who has three novella-length comics assembling themselves in her head?  Doesn’t that seem bizarre?  It does to me.  I’m not complaining, but I am puzzled.

When I wrote about AIR last week, I mentioned that taking the mini-comic class was one way I was challenging my belief that I can’t draw.  The other was — wait for it — another class at the Brainery (big surprise, yes?).  A class on class charcoal sketches, a class in which students were going to walk out of class having reproduced a sketch by some casual, workaday artist such as Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci.  Right.  I signed up, trying to stay true to my challenge, but also FULL of skepticism.  There was no possible way that I would be recreating any kind of sketch.  No way.  None.  Period.

So here’s the sketch I chose to copy:


This isn’t by Michelangelo or Leonardo.  This is a sketch done by Maryland sculptor P. Brad Parker.  It came up in a Google Images search for Michelangelo charcoal sketches, and I thought it was really beautiful.  I didn’t realize until a week or so after class that it wasn’t, in fact, a Michelangelo sketch.  It’s really lovely, and I dreaded the thought of creating some awful copy, but I dove in all the same … and here’s what I created in the end:


So, while it’s true that Brad has nothing to worry about from me, I can’t tell you how shocked and amazed and really happy I am to have created this, and to have done it in about 30 minutes.  It shouldn’t be possible.  At all.  And yet …  Maybe it was something in the enthusiastic encouragement from Elysa, our wonderful teacher.  Magic in the air …

At this point, I think I have to put aside my belief that I can’t draw and replace it with wondering what I’ll draw next!

Please link up your slice of life story to this post today. As always, be sure to check out other bloggers’ writing by clicking through the links in the comment section of this post. If you’re dropping by to link up quickly today, then please come back later to read through others slicers’ posts.

You can find all the other slices on Two Writing Teachers!


14 thoughts on “Look, Ma: I’m Drawing!

  1. Wow! Amazing–makes me wonder how much hidden talent exists among my students that I am not tapping. You can both draw and write–what a creative spirit you are. I am glad you have found a new talent.


    1. Thanks, Maya! This class really made me think. Everyone in the group (10 of us) produced something excellent. Only one person in the group had ever done any kind of formal drawing. The class was interesting because it really made us change our approach to a new skill, change the way we looked at what we were supposed to be doing. The instructor broke the task down into several small ways of seeing, and that seemed to help us all get away from the “I can’t draw that” thinking we’d walked into the room with. It would be interesting to think of ways to do that with other projects in the classroom!


    1. Thanks, Elsie! I’ve tried it again — in an effort to prove to myself that what happened in class was some kind of wacky fluke. I found another sketch online that I liked … and I made a really good reproduction!


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