Be RebElliOus: A Key to Artful Living



“Be rebellious!”

The words flew out of my mouth before I even really thought about what I was saying. Now that I’ve had a chance to think about it…it’s not bad advice.

You see, my friend was telling me how excited she was about starting Sketchbook Skool!! Her face lit up as she spoke of being able to take these classes to learn to sketch and draw. I was/am thrilled for her. “The only thing is…” she said with a furrowed brow, “I’m a bit intimidated.” She went on to talk about how amazing Danny Gregory’s drawings are and how she could  never do something like that. “And…we have to draw in pen!”

Right there is where those two words flew out of my mouth: “Be rebellious then! Draw with a pencil if that makes you more apt to draw. I’m sure Danny Gregory would say so as well!”

I’m actually not sure he would say that, since I am not taking Sketchbook Skool classes (reason for this in an upcoming post). But I DO feel confident that Danny and ALL the amazing instructors in the Skool, want their students to SUCCEED! Part of succeeding is feeling freed up to try…to actually put a mark on a page no matter whether it’s made with a pen or a pencil, a big fat crayon or an oil stick. I could guess at Danny’s reasons for wanting someone to draw in pen and they would all be very good reasons! But as a teacher he would surely want you to take up whatever utensil it is that you feel comfortable with at first. Draw, draw, draw like mad and then at some point give pens a try! All kinds of pens. And then inks, and then watercolors, and then oil pastels, and maybe charcoal, and perhaps even carve your own “bamboo” pen from a chopstick like Stefano does (how cool is that!).

So go ahead and be rebellious as you learn. But in your “rebellion” be sure to soak up every bit of what you can from these teachers. What they have to offer you in the way of techniques, tips, methods, philosophies and inspiration is hard-won! They are the Drawing Gurus. Sit at their feet with sketchbook and pen (or whatever!:) in hand and make marks like mad! And once you’ve tried everything they’ve offered you, then go your own way, do your own thing, carve your own path as an artist.

You are actually being rebellious anytime you draw! You have dared to push back all the stuff that screams for your attention in your life–all the housework, the never ending to-do list, the ringing phone, the snare of online surfing, and you’ve “rebelliously” sat down to do something regenerative, rejuvenating, fun, worthwhile, and even healing!

A little rebellion in your creative life will go a long way to aid you in trying new things, continuing with what feels like it’s gotten old, or just plain scratching an itch to be different in some way. And a healthy dose of it in our personal lives could be good too!

0 thoughts on “Be RebElliOus: A Key to Artful Living

  1. Pia says:

    Assuming your friend is paying for the class, the teacher is really her employee, and as such has to put up with her pencil unless is causes harm to the other students 😉

    But I’d also like to say – be brave! Nobody is expecting her pieces from class to go in an Etsy shop from day one, are they? It’s just paper.

  2. KnitNell says:

    Hi Jen – I bought one of Danny’s books some time ago and saw that he draw everyday objects with a pen – no pencil – just pen straight on the paper. Previous to that I always used a pencil and eraser and painstakingly draw my lines but knowing I could rub them out. Using a pen immediately was very, very difficult initially but not the actual ‘doing’ of it so much but the actual ‘thinking about doing it’. Tell your friend to rebel instead against that voice in her head, pick up a pen, think of it as a doodle rather than a sketch (does anyone correct doodles or fussies over them?) If she isn’t ‘happy’ with the 7 sketches she does that week she can always chuck them away (although better to keep for a bit) if they annoy her too much. I am doing the course just to give me an ooomph and make me do things I don’t like doing. This week I have spread ink all over the pages of my lovely new gorgeous white paged sketchbook and rubbed chalk and pastels everywhere – horrid but great!

  3. freebirdsings says:

    I’m taking the classes. I haven’t done the sketches in pencil, pen or anything else but actually I am sketching everyday even if it’s just a little sun in my journal for the weather of the day! Of course your friend can use pencil! No one will bat an eye if she posts a pic done in pencil. The support from everyone has been tremendous for everyone from the most beginner drawers to the artists who came to learn a bit of something different or just to enliven their spirits. I am amazed at how many have signed up!

    But I hope your friend will take the leap and try something very simple straight in pen. Once I did that I realized it was so freeing and I do it quite often especially when I really can’t let the time elapse to fidget with the drawing (like the sun is going to set in a few minutes or it will be eaten if I don’t hurry).

    I love how the phone is taped over! And the dishes are piling up. That’s just what I need to do for a couple of days to catch up with classes I signed up for! Yes, the lawn needed mowing today (It was seriously overgrown) and we had to get fresh veggies although left to my own devices I’d probably just run out for fast food (on the other hand that isn’t so easy anymore as it turns out my migraines and malaise were caused by soy)! I need to get the determined look that Genevieve has and dare anyone including the dogs, to bother me while I catch up with my art lessons!

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