Your friend…the Eraser

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to draw.  That’s one of my drawings to the left.  I don’t know a lot about art, but I know enough to know that from a technical standpoint I’m really not very good.  I have trouble with things like foreshortening, and I never seem to be able to get hands to look right.  Still, I enjoy drawing, even when the end result doesn’t match what’s in my mind’s eye.

I used to always doodle with a pen.  I thought the ink looked better on the page, but it also meant that anything I drew was final.  I couldn’t go back and change what I didn’t like.  A few years ago I was reading a book on drawing when a simple statement set me straight…”Don’t be afraid to erase.”  Now I’m a pencil fan!  And the most important feature of a pencil for me is the quality of the eraser.

Part of being creative is allowing things to come out of your mind that you will most likely want to go back and erase later.  I know I’m not always good about that.  I put too much pressure on myself to come up with a great idea for a children’s church lesson or puppet performance that is brilliant right out of the shoot.  But that almost never happens.  I need to let all the ideas out… erase the bad ones… and improve on the good ones.  That’s what  a cartoonist does.  Have you ever looked at some of your DVD’s of Disney animated movies and seen the rough drawings of the animation?  Some of those sequences look like a big mess of scribbles in their rough form.  The artists keep all the lines that look like Mickey Mouse and erase all the ones that don’t.

So when you’re trying to be creative…don’t be afraid to erase!


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