I Made This: Getting Over My Fear of Drawing

JRS Doodle by Jamie

Drawing intimidates me. In fact, when I go through a list of all the arts I can think of, drawing would top the list as the scariest.

When did I get this fear of drawing?

I can so easily cast back to being a little girl gleefully making the most of my crayons, markers and coloured pencils. Hours upon hours were spent drawing trees and ducks and writing my alphabet. We had a little art table at the back of the family room and I can still feel what it was like to sit there, absorbed in creating.

The turning point was whenever it became clear that “representation” was the purpose for art, that if you drew a dog it should look like a dog, by which I mean, really look like a dog. How did you accomplish that? Nobody told me that part! If you were an artist, if you had talent, you would know.

Well, I didn’t know. And so drawing just dropped out of my repertoire. Forever.

Until this year.

If you follow stART: Creating as We Go, you know that my sisters and I are signed up for Life Book. We’re exploring our way through weekly mixed media exercises and recently did Carla Sonheim‘s lesson, which included drawing. At first I felt that old familiar dread. My body tensed up as I thought, “I don’t know how to do this.” But Carla’s exercises were imaginative and playful and I found myself easing in. After all, who was going to see these little drawings anyway?

Then I checked out Lisa Congdon‘s Line Drawing class at Creativebug* and for the first time since I was a little girl I was excited about drawing.

Drawing is just shapes?

I can do lines and circles and squiggles! In fact, I love doing lines and circles and squiggles! I could do that all day. And this week I did! I spent hours making circles and flowers and stars and having so much fun.

All of this exploration is helping me redefine what “drawing” is and to reclaim the part of it I truly love – the simple pleasure of making lines and shapes and squiggles on the page.

I’m getting over my fear of drawing one line at a time.

I’m sharing this post as a part of I Made This! If you want to share something you made this week, come on by and join in!

Psst… I’m going to be interviewing Lisa Congdon on Creative Living with Jamie. Be sure to keep an ear out for that!


  1. Kirby says:

    I LOVED drawing until that one teacher in high school killed it for me – might be time to pick up the pencils again :)

  2. Paula says:

    Jamie, that is great! I love what you did with the challenge. Drawing isn’t even on my radar but you made me stop and think why not? Have fun!

  3. Becky says:

    What coincidence! I just started Danny Gregory’s sketchbook skool for the very reason that I would love to be able to draw/sketch, carry a book around with me – and chicken out and just fill it with words! Love your happy drawing and am sure you are on the road to recovering your ability for this kind of expression!

  4. Donna says:

    I’ve been working on this myself. I cannot draw to save my life. But I’ve been ‘illustrating’ my latest book with silly stick drawings which was utterly terrifying but so much fun. I’ve even shared some of them on my blog and Facebook page. I’m still rubbish but they’re fun!! X

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