For most of the almost 6 years that I’ve been writing this blog, almost every single post has been accompanied by an illustration. started to change about a week ago when my stack of unillustrated but otherwise just finished posts started getting that musty, too-long-in-the-drawer smell.
I don’t have anything against photography. I actually shot weddings and portraits for almost 5 years when Thing1 was little. Thing2 came on the scene, and suddenly I needed both my hands to focus on him, on a new work-at-Home-mom role, on everything except focusing lenses and clicking a shutter.
I traded a DSLR for a point-and-shoot, and then the point-and-shoot for whatever camera happened to me on my cell phone, operating on the theory that the best camera for Snapchat‘s of the kids was the one I kept with me all the time.
I thought art was secondary.
I still scribbled my notebooks. When we took the kids to the art museum, I sketched my sketchbook pretending I might one day a great artist. It wasn’t until I started my blog as part of writing class, that I began drawing again in earnest.
The funny thing was that the drawing was not about art – or so I thought. It was something to add to the writing on the blog. It was stock illustration I didn’t have to buy and images I didn’t have to wait until the kids were occupied during daylight hours to make.
It was utilitarian. And then it became something more, it reminded me it had always been something more. The drawing took on a life of its own, enabling but also becoming an integral part of the blog.
I will never stop drawing again.
Just as drawing became a tool to enable the blog, however, an old creative outlet, photography – altered and not, is starting to re-emerge as a facilitator. I doubt I will purchase another expensive DSLR, but I have reclaimed a mirrorless camera I traded to the Big Guy before our trip to Iceland.
Right now the photography is a tool. It helps writing progress without letting the creative and meditative but time-consuming task of illustrating slow it down. It helps make sure nothing gets in the way of responding to inspiration.
I’ve been at this a few years now. In that time I’ve learned that the art is never secondary; only the tools are, and allowing yourself to zoom out, to pick up a new one, can become a source of inspiration all on its own.