I’m in the zone right now. The one where I don’t want to stop painting. I don’t want to do anything that will disrupt my rhythm. I imagine all creative people experience it and the torture when they do have to stop. That drive to create is always there, even when I’m tired. Last night, after clearing a couple TV shows off our DVR, I headed back upstairs to paint just a bit more before bed. But that never happened. Instead, at ten o’clock in the evening I gave my daughter a drawing lesson. In the last year she’s begun drawing more and more and showing signs that she’s inherited the artist gene from her mother and grandmother. I always try to make the time to show her how I do things not because I’m her mother, but because it’s the right thing to do for any young creative person. So when she asked me last night if I’d show her how I draw a tiger, I said of course.
I talked to her about the importance of reference photos and despite what she might think, all artists need reference materials at some stage of their work. Chances are I could draw quite a few different birds without a reference, but it’s not everyday I draw a tiger. Once I found a good reference image, she handed me her sketchbook and I said, “I always start with the eyes.”
What I ended up with wasn’t a complete sketch, just a start, to show her where I begin and how I proceed. She was over the moon and all it took was 30 minutes out of my day to educate her, inspire her, encourage her and nurture her inner artist. I believe this is one of the most important things we, as artist, writers, musicians can do for young people. In fact, I’d go as far to say it’s our responsibility. I would do this for any young person, not only my daughter. It can be intimidating when you’re young seeing all the incredible art in the world and it’s easy to think, I could never do that. But we all begin as amateurs.
So take the time to inspire a budding artist, writer or musician. In doing so you are insuring a future with more beauty in the world.