For many adults who dont draw on a regular basis placing a blank sheet of paper in front of them and saying the words “draw whatever you want” can strike sheer terror in their minds. I’ve witnessed people sit and stew for an hour before giving up to other distractions because its all too hard –never has a piece of paper held so much power over a person before.

We all know its in the mind. The “I don’t know what to draw” reason could also be reinterpreted to “I dont want to make a mistake”, “I dont know how to start” or “I’m not very good and this will show you how bad I am”. 

Firstly, dont worry about making mistakes – its just a piece of paper, if you really dont like it screw it up and throw it in the recycling bin. Not everything you create has to be kept or documented a la social media. The scale and scope of how much pressure people put on themselves to draw a picture outweighs the actual activity. If it still freaks you out crumple up the paper or step on it beforehand.  That might sound crazy but if you lessen the value of the paper you mightn’t feel as precious with it.

Secondly, drawing doesn’t have to be figurative, you know like drawing an animal, person or object. Doodling or scribbling is a great way to get started. Pattern making, even when its made up as you go along counts as drawing. 

The most important thing is the regular practice of drawing. It doesn’t matter what it is, if its finished or makes any sense, what matters is that you’re practicing making marks, you’re exercising the creative part of your mind. The more you do it the less a blank page will have a hold over you. It’s like exercising – you dont have to jog 10kms or pump iron for an hour to get fit, regular activity of a manageable level will benefit you more in the long run. 

If you need more inspiration to get you past the horror of a blank page look at the way children approach drawing. As soon as you give them a piece of paper and crayon they get stuck into it. There’s no hesitation, no self-doubt, no self-critiquing of their skill level. Which is why parents always say that their kids love to draw, and that’s the key take here “drawing” should be seen as an action, not a noun.

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