Rediscovering Art: My Journey Back to Drawing

For as long as I can remember, art has been a part of my life. It runs in my family; my mother was a writer, and her father was painter. I would sit for hours, fascinated as I watched my grandfather paint. Yet, despite my early exposure, my relationship with art, specifically drawing, has been a journey of stops and starts until recently.

I identify as a highly sensitive person (HSP), and I've grappled with the double-edged sword of perfectionism. While later has fueled my dedication, it has also stifled my creative pursuits. I became so fixated on getting things right the first time, that the simple joy of creation was often overshadowed by a crippling fear of mistakes. It took me years to recognize that mistakes are an integral part of the learning process and not evidence of personal shortcomings.

Like many, I've sought ways to manage my mood and channel my energy into something positive. The act of drawing has become a consistent source of comfort and familiarity. It has been like coming home. Not just because it reminds me of my grandfather, but because it feels like what I'm supposed to do.

First drawing is an outlet for my sensitivity. It is a chance for me to appreciate a gift that is more often overwhelming. Second, I've realized that the ability to voluntarily focus, to direct my wandering attention back to my art, again and again, has been an invaluable tool in managing my mental health.

Achieving a state of flow, where I become completely absorbed in the task at hand, has always been a challenge. Activities like running and cycling help me immerse myself, pushing my inner critic into the background. But it is in drawing that I find it easiest to re-enter this state of flow. Drawing forces me to quiet the noise in my head, and to simply be in the moment.

At the heart of my journey back to drawing is my teacher friend mentor, James Xavier Barbour. His natural talent and wisdom have proven instrumental in my growth. I've always excelled at teaching myself theory, but perfectionism often makes practice a struggle. James provides a perfect balance, with his practical wisdom and experience, encouraging me to practice and progress.

What truly excites me about my artistic journey is the endless potential for exploration and learning. I'm looking forward to delving deeper into Classical Realism and urban sketching. The latter intrigues me as a way to really immerse myself in a scene while traveling, to slow down and take in a view in a way that photography doesn't always allow.

Looking back, I've come a long way since my return to drawing. In navigating through a myriad of interests, it was hard to discern a clear life direction. But with each stroke of my pencil, each completed piece, I'm convinced I'm on the path I was always meant to tread. I have found joy in the journey itself and a sense of accomplishment in the progress I've made.


My return to drawing has been a journey of self-discovery, a testament to the transformative power of art. As I continue to navigate this path, I am eager to see where it takes me next, confident in the knowledge that with each step, I am exactly where I need to be.

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