Getting rid of the “I can’t draw”s

| drawing, sketches

In a comment, The Average Jane said that she can’t draw to save her life. I want to say something about that, because I keep hearing self-put-downs like that from people. I realized that I’ve got very few “I can’ts” in my life. Maybe I can nudge people towards that kind of feeling, too.

So. Drawing. Forget all the pretty pictures that other people can make. Can you draw as well as a 3-year-old kid draws? For reference, here are some typical developmental stages:

You can probably draw at least as well as a typical 3-year-old child. It’s not hard. A circle, a few lines, and your imagination can fill in the rest. That’s drawing. Drawing doesn’t have to be amazing. You can start wherever you are. You can even get better if you want.

imageWhen I feel stuck, I draw the most stereotypically kid-like drawings I can think of in order to get me past the “I can’t draw”s. I celebrate the fact that I can draw something recognizable. This makes me realize my challenge is more about “I can’t draw as well as I’d like to.” That’s manageable. That’s just about time and attention and practice. It doesn’t matter if I have years of catching up to do. I can draw, and I can get better. Differentiating between my “I can’t”s helps me stay motivated.

Do you tell yourself that you can’t draw? What happens if you tweak your expectations?

You can comment with Disqus or you can e-mail me at