What If?

Last night I sat until late packaging prints – I am delivering a whole batch tomorrow and I am very excited, but its been a lot of work trying to get the packaging, labels and certificates done and signed.  In the background I had music playing and while I worked I pondered.

What If? What if – just like the other times – I had set the proverbial pencil down again?

People often ask how the ‘drawing-thing’ happened.

“Did you always draw – from when you were a child?”

No, not really actually.  Though I distinctly remember being twelve and sitting at my desk in the corner of my room with the afternoon sun on my back and looking up at a photo of myself as a baby, and the sudden urge to draw it.  Using my simple HB pencil and a sheet of printing paper, I drew what could be deemed as my first and only self-portrait.  If I close my eyes I can still see that drawing in my mind, and I know it must still be somewhere in one of my boxes of childhood memories.  It was good I think.  My mom loved it – but then, she always was my most ardent supporter.  It looked like the photo, and I pinned it to my board – often thinking I should try something else but also mostly thinking that it might have been a fluke and wondering whether I would in fact be able to.  So I didn’t.

Years passed.

My son was small, a year or so old when I tried again.  I bought acrylic paint, two canvases and painted our cat.  He looked slightly skew, but it was a cat.  Then I painted a zebra, and again I felt happy with it.  Happy that it looked like a zebra, but frustrated that it lacked the detail I so love in wildlife art.  So yet again the paint and brushes were filed and I let it go.

More time passed.

About 3 or 4 years ago I tried charcoal, but found it too black – I discovered I like colour.  One day I walked into a shop and impulsively bought a set of coloured pencils.  I drew a bird or two and suddenly something clicked into place.  Over the next 2 years I drew a handful of images and started reading up on coloured pencil techniques.

And then, in January 2017 I decided to make a resolution – I was going to take my art more seriously.  Shutting my eyes as I swiped, I invested in artist quality pencils and paper.  This site is the result of that resolution.

So what if?  What if this time, like every other time, I allowed myself to be dissuaded by the doubts and fears.  What if my drive to do better had once again dimmed my spirit instead of fueling the need to learn.  What if in that one moment when the art dream was knocking on my door once again, I had decided that it was just that – a dream?  What if I missed out on the fun I am having now?

I am by no means where I want to be – I learn with each piece.  But it has awakened a part of my being that is floating deliriously happy at the prospect of each new drawing.  I have also by no means ‘arrived’ – a serious amount of water is needed to fill that dam.  But I am, quite literally, living the dream of building and filling that dam.

People often say that ‘what ifs’ shouldn’t be pondered,  but usually this is because of opportunities missed.  So don’t miss that bus.

Go out and chase your dream.  Open the door to that idea that keeps knocking on your door.  Pursue it with fervor and wild abandon, breathe it like you would air.

Shouldn’t we all have one excitingly idyllic dream to give life to?

What if you just did it?

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