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!