Ever since being asked, I’ve wondered; how do I define myself or my art?
I started doodling in my Moleskine last October, after re-discovering a large lined Moleskine notebook my mother had given to me for my 21st birthday. "You’re a writer," she said, "and this is a nice notebook." That, and I’d been begging for one a few months prior. But that’s not either here nor there, since after a month of dilligent diary writing, I let the notebook sit in a corner or purse, just begging to be used.
It was only after reading Danny Gregory’s book, "Everyday Matters," that I realized I was going about it all wrong. A diary shouldn’t reflect the negative aspects of life, it should celebrate the positive. Seeing as that, as someone living with a chronic disease, I was pretty good at finding the negative, I decided to take Danny’s advice and draw small, everyday things. Things I’d brush by without a second glance. Things that appeared ugly at first, but held hidden inner beauty. I started to look at the world with my eyes and senses instead of just letting it passby as a wirlwind of color.
I felt free. For years, I’d considered myself a writer — not an artist. I didn’t believe I could draw. Didn’t think I could paint anything worth looking at. My creative talents lay with words. But once I started looking at things, really looking, I found even I could draw.
I felt myself drawn to art stores. To paints I read about on different blogs or flickr posts. Started drawing my inspiration from wherever I could. Now, I paint almost every day in my Moleskine, write lists and notes in it. To me, it’s more than a single notebook; it is a collection of my life, my soul, between two black covers.
Never has a notebook — a notebook! — held so much magic for me. It has helped me become a better writer, an artist, a creative person. And has helped me to improve my attitude towards life.
My advice? Just do it. Pull out watercolors, load up your brush, and make a mark on the page. Don’t be afraid that whatever you’re painting or drawing isn’t worth the pages — it is! Mix colors you see in your room, out your window, when you’re driving. Keep going. Just try. Experiment. Be. You can do nothing wrong.
"The only way to find your true self is through recklessness and freedom." — Brenda Urland
Sam K. Harding
Have a nice weekend everyone. Get out, have a life – and write about it! See you on Monday.