Are you bad at drawing?

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This month I have a question for you all:

Are you bad at drawing?

A heart shape drawn on the sidewalk with chalk. It is split in half, one side holds a flower and the other holds a cloud raining large drops.
Image by Dylan Cale Jones from their Pedestrian Commuter project

Are you bad at drawing?

Do you think your drawings look “bad” or “weird” or “wrong“? Do you avoid drawing because you feel afraid that you are bad at it?

Does drawing feel bad?

Does it feel uncomfortable, strange, or unfamiliar? Is that why you feel afraid to do it? 

Do you tell yourself you are bad at drawing?

Is it really you saying that or is it someone else’s voice? Is some voice from another time and another place stuck in your head? Is it stuck in your heart? Is everything that voice tells you true?

Did someone else tell you that you are bad at drawing?

Many of people have a story like this: Someone, somewhere in their past, said something hurtful about the way they draw. It hurt so much that they never wanted to feel that way again. The easiest way to stay safe was to stop drawing all together, because the pain of being “bad at drawing” felt worse than the pain of not drawing… Even if, deep down, they really wanted to draw. 

A drawing of a bird is etched into the cement sidewalk.
Image by Dylan Cale Jones from their Pedestrian Commuter project

Do you say you can’t draw? 

I am certain that is untrue. Anyone can draw, including you! Because drawing is a verb. Drawing is a simple action. It is something you choose to do, or not do. It is your decision. 

You can decide to draw.

Decide to put a pencil, pen, marker, charcoal, crayon to the paper and to move your body with it. Make a mark, a line, a scribble, anything. And then make another one. And another and another. It doesn’t matter what it looks like at all. And as you make a mark, you are drawing. You are bad at drawing. You are drawing. 

Radical Drawing for Self Doubt

  • Make any kind of mark.
  • Say, “I am drawing”. Say it out-loud or in your mind. 
  • Repeat as many times as it takes for you to believe it. 

If this month’s newsletter is bringing up some insecurities or challenging emotions please hold yourself in tenderness. It is human to feel afraid. It is OK to be afraid to draw. It is alright to want to overcome that fear. It is OK to change. Bit by bit, mark by mark. 

This April I am teaching an 8 week course called ” BAD AT DRAWING” with my partner and collaborator Dylan Cale Jones.

the text "BAD AT DRAWING" floats above a feild of wild scribble marks. "BAD AT" has a red line struck through it, leaving only the word "DRAWING"

This class is for anyone who thinks they are “bad at drawing”. Together we will face our fears by making drawings that are BAD, WEIRD, WILD, MESSY, SILLY, FREAKY and FUN! We will scribble, smear, smudge, and trace our way into making amazing art. We will learn to draw with joy and confidence! This class is perfect for beginners, scaredy cats, crybabies, armatures, outlaws, trouble makers and rule breakers.

BAD AT DRAWING will be taught at the Oklahoma Contemporary through the Studio School. Registration opens February 20, 2023.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

Drawing with you,

Isa Be Rodriguez

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