Why 3 rectangles and this odd shaped blob made me as happy as a 13 year-old insomniac.

The other day I got inspired.

I was reading this incredible blog post, but it wasn’t the content that inspired me. It was the hand drawn images. I decided I wanted to try and do the same thing for my blog post and create something fun to break up all that glorious whitespace.

So I dusted off the iPad mini, opened an app called Paper that I’d used like once sometime in 2015… and started making these silly images.

And while I was drawing, something truly amazing happened.

I was smiling, big-fat-grin-smiling, the whole time.

I never smile. Not because I’m miserable. I’m a happy guy. I’m just not particularly, you know, “emotional.” And rarely am I called “excitable”.

Not since, well not since I was a kid, and that’s the point.

Because while I was flowing, totally engaged in these fun little doodles, it reminded me of being a 13-year old again. I used to go to bed, and not be able to sleep, at all. So I’d get up and draw all-night long, until 4 or 5am, then I’d crash out for an hour or two, wake up, and go to school. I really loved it, and then at some point in my life “adult” happened.

I don’t know exactly when I stopped enjoying drawing. Maybe it was when I was briefly bullied at school, come to think of it, it was during art class, and I ended up switching from art to drama. How the fuck I got bullied in an art class is beyond me?

Or maybe it was the whole “papier mache fiasco?”

Or maybe it was just discovering girls and booze?

Who knows? And honestly, who cares?

I’m not carrying a grudge. Or feeling damaged.

Whatever the reason. I stopped drawing. And over the years, writing (and photography) become my creative medium of choice. But this brief foray back into drawing awakened a long forgotten passion in me. And with it a long forgotten ability to play, to smile, to let the kid out.

Now, me being me, I’m always eager to learn new things. Plus, I love to geek out with new tech, plus plus, I always like to strike while the iron is hot.

(It’s a great combo -but it’s often expensive).

So within a few hours of releasing I used to love drawing, I made a pact with myself. I was going to learn how to draw again. This time digitally.

Actually, the pact was a little stronger than that.

“I’m adding Digital Artist to my creative repertoire!” I told myself, and anyone who’d listen.

So I went out, paid a few hundred bucks for a graphics tablet, and I signed up for a course with PencilKings, and then, just for good measure I found a couple of free courses too. And then I immediately got started.

(PencilKings looks like the real deal. I’m certainly loving it, the photoshop for beginners course is worth the price of entry alone if you’re a total newbie like me, but it’s honestly too early to tell how good it is long term. The free courses are highly recommended too. They are Draw A Box and CTRLpaint. They both look really good, and I’ll update as I learn more.)

The next thing I knew it’s 4am and 38 year old Luke is grinning like a loon at his huge accomplishment of 3 rectangles and this odd shaped blob.

Look, I know that’s not much, but I couldn’t be happier.

I spent the day and night utterly engaged, in flow, loving learning new photoshop skills, new drawing ideas, new stuff. And with a bit of luck, eventually these rectangles and blobs will become this:

(Or something similar…)

And then who knows…

I’ve got ideas of what I want to draw already. But I need to get the basics down first. And this medium publication will chart my progress.

So follow along if you’re interested in how a total novice at the ripe old age of 38, can rediscover his childhood passions and transfer them to a digital medium to become a digital artist…

It should be fun, hilarious, informative, and hopefully just a little bit inspirational too.

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