Art is all about starting again. – David Bayles and Ted Orland, in Art & Fear.
I don’t believe in starting over, but I do believe in starting again.
Back in January, when I was taking a drawing class, I sketched almost every day. Towards the end of class, my discipline slid, mainly because I was traveling and busy. Since the class ended, however, I am drawing very little, a sketch a week if I’m lucky. I’d like to get back to drawing more regularly. I guess it’s time to start again.
Recognizing that art requires us to start again and again and again is helpful. It explains to me why it is so hard. Every drawing I make requires me to start again. There’s the anxiety of the unknown — not knowing what to do, how it will turn out, or if I will be pleased with the results. Most of my drawings aren’t successes, but I have to remind myself of that as well. I’m still learning how to do what I want to do. I’m practicing. I’m building my skills and finding what I like and what works for me. I have to be willing to make mistakes in order to get where I want to go.
And so I must start again. Every day feels like a new start, with all the good and the bad that implies. Fortunately, if I don’t pick up my pen today, tomorrow I can start yet again.