I will be the first to admit, I have gotten out of the habit of drawing. It all started with the end of the school year at the end of March, when my life got so busy I was lucky to get a few hours of sleep every night. Then my parents came to visit me for two weeks and we went on a whirlwind tour of Honshu– which added up to about a month where I was doing no art at all. From everything I learned in college, THAT IS TERRIBLE. YOU SHOULD NEVER STOP DRAWING.
But it happens. Since I graduated from college four hundred years ago, it happens to me often, because sometimes, and God do I hate this cliche, but “life happens.” You know what? No. I hate that saying so much because it implies that life stops happening at some point. Life is happening always! Like if your life has stopped, then panic because you aren’t living anymore! A better saying is “other things in your life had a bigger priority” which is more to the point, isn’t it? My bigger priority was getting my apartment ready for summer (because in Japan there is no spring, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise), trying to get myself in the habit of making bento everyday for work (which has been an interesting exercise in trial and error I am starting to regret– but it’s been better for my waist and my wallet), and trying to catch up on the sleep I’ve been missing out on because of the other two factors (SO MUCH SLEEP). There may have also been a time slump of getting over homesickness all over again after seeing my parents, but the less time I dwell on that, the better!
So for the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to get back on the track that I had set for myself at the beginning of the year. I won’t lie– the hardest part was getting motivated. Having the iPad has helped, because whenever I have downtime at work and my eyes have gone cross-eyed from this week’s chapter of kanji, I can flip open the iPad and sketch for a little bit to just get my mind back to a peaceful place, and to get it back into gear. It also prevents me from going into Hulk-smash mode when the silence of a room full of people pretending I don’t exist breaks me.
My weekdays are pretty packed with classes. I wake up around 6, leave the apartment no later than 7, go to work and and am back home around 5:30. And then I have to make dinner, do house chores (why don’t dishes do themselves?) and find some brief moment when I can sit and breathe. Some of my co-workers play video games AND study Japanese AND play music. I don’t know how they find the freaking time (but then again, when they come to my apartment, they are shocked with how clean it is *smug grin*– and they are always impressed when I tell them what’s on my plate currently).
This week I have started drawing every night before bed, whether I want to or not, for an hour. Why force it? Because a) I take what I can get when it comes to drawing time b) after the first few minutes of hating myself (and staring at that dreaded blank screen), I actually start to get productive and get things done and usually end up working more than an hour.
And isn’t that the idea of successfully working as an artist? You aren’t always going to want to draw. There will be days the last thing you want is to even see a pencil. But if you don’t work on it, who will? I have yet to find the trained monkeys who can draw and ink in my style. Alas. I have been searching since college.