In an effort to get one tiny step closer to the “illustrator” part of my desired author/illustrator title, I signed up for a beginning drawing class offered by my town art league. Although I enjoy drawing and painting, I am indeed a beginner, so I figured I’d fit in. And I did. Sorta. Lemme break it down for you.
I cruised into the first class feeling optimistic. I can DO this. I settled in at one of the giant, ancient, wooden easels and pretended to know how to adjust it. Note: I did not. I placed my brand spanking new sketch pad on my poorly placed easel and immediately noticed it. I had the wrong size. Everyone around me expertly hefted their giant sketch pads onto their easels, and the first thing I thought was LIARS. You are all liars and not beginners. I took a deep breath, straightened my Barbie-sized paper, and decided to get over it and began to make up a story in my head about how I enjoyed small-scale work.
The instructor dove right in explaining spacing and perspective and distance, and I did what I could to keep up. I do not know the nationality of the teacher, but his sentences came out something like:
you EYES. they tell you LIE. you look bottle and fruit. you look you PAPER. you no draw bottle and fruit. you WRONG. you got to LOOK more than you DRAW.
Albeit challenging to the ears, he was right. My eyes. They tell me LIE. I worked hard, though, and was eager for Mr. Teacher to come and give me feedback. After some time, he arrived at my easel. I’m sure that what he said would have been helpful, but he did something that left me useless:
HE WROTE ON MY PAPER.
No. Nope. Nope-ity nope-er. Sr. Nopeful of Nope-ington Manor.
Not to be a princess, but…OK maybe I’m a princess, but don’t. write. on. my. artwork. As a former teacher, this really burns my biscuits. Just EXPLAIN it to me. Use your finger. Use a stick. Use a frickin’ magic wand if you want.
Hands off my artwork, bub.
I managed to get some recognizable shapes by the end of the two hour class. When Mr. Pencil Presser wasn’t nearby, I really did benefit from his instruction, and I enjoyed the class. I even went back the next week! Maybe I’ll share some future work.
The moral of the story is: if you’re wondering if somebody minds if you touch their artwork, or their stuff, or whatever, they really, really might. So…