The kind of art I want to make vs. the kind of art I like making

I’ve been an artist my whole life. Like a lot of kids, I started drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil. It was always drawing – never painting or crafting. Maybe it’s because it was easy and inexpensive – all I needed were pencils and paper. Those were always plentiful because of school, and I filled tons of notebooks (not sketchbooks) with my drawings.

Once I got proper sketchbooks (around age 12-13) I proceeded to also fill those with my drawings. They were never elaborate – usually character portraits and designs. I never really drew animals or landscapes or furniture/other objects. That was something to work on in the future, not the present.

In high school, I set up a list of goals I wanted to achieve. One of those was to be comfortable with my art skill by age 25. It was so far away at the time – I had years to work on my art! I’d surely be able to learn how to draw anything by age 25!

I turned 25 in mid-2019. Needless to say, I was not comfortable with my art skill at the time. I hadn’t improved as much as I wanted to. I couldn’t draw landscapes or machinery or the things I wanted to draw. In fact, I wasn’t particularly interested in drawing anymore.

Thankfully, I discovered acrylic painting a couple of months later. And then I discovered that I really like acrylic painting. I can paint landscapes and starscapes with relative ease! Those are things that would take me forever if I tried to draw them!

I’m actually enjoying myself when I’m painting, which was a thing that wasn’t happening when I was drawing. Years ago, I might have been upset by this. Now I understand that it really isn’t worth pursuing a hobby – a hobby! Not a job! – that isn’t bringing me any joy.

The art I wanted to make was not the same as the art I actually liked making.

Maybe I’ll come back to drawing sometime in the future. My interests and likes are fluid and have changed a lot over the past few years, and they’re sure to change in the next few. Maybe I’ll start over and actually learn the basics.

I’ve also found that this applied to my writing. When I was first starting out, I wanted to write all sorts of things! Then I actually tried writing in various genres, persons, etc. until I learned what I actually liked writing. I talked a little about this in a previous blog post.

I imagine everyone who’s ever done anything creative has realized this at some point.

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