From my Notebook >

Drawing Through Anxieties: Recreation Area Sketch

After watching yesterday’s AIBD webinar, something in my mind flipped from micro to macro, and I started thinking about bigger things—drawing buildings, parks, and so on. I’m not an architect (and definitely not a landscape designer), but I think it’s important to draw or write out our ideas.

The negative ideas that went through my head while drawing this (a real departure from my normal drawings) were:

  • I didn’t really think this out
  • I don’t have appropriate drawing supplies for this (thicker-tipped markers)
  • I shouldn’t have just put that line there
  • I should have drawn that part differently
  • I think I just ruined it

However, I kept repeating one of the mantras from Mike Lin’s webinar:

  • I’m not done yet.

The positive ideas that went through my head while drawing were:

  • I’ve never done anything like this. This is really fun!
  • Wow, I just created a little park that didn’t exist before.
  • I could see myself enjoying a place like this.
  • I just tried something daring and it worked (translating the top / plan view of the structure to a perspective view).
  • I am proud of this. It’s not perfect, but it gets the idea across really well.

In summary, it was a great exercise in identifying anxieties and overcoming them. It reminded me of a 3D graphics class I once taught to junior high school students—their favorite assignment was “design your ideal bedroom,” and it was really fun to help each one of them through their stressful “I can’t do this” moments.

I think it would be fun to put together a therapeutic drawing class or group. Whether you can draw well or not, the process of creating something—anything—is in its own way a very powerful exercise.