Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Making something with my life

Let me make a confession.

Sketching is not my go-to activity.

I don't do it to relax (I read books for that) and I don't do it to generate ideas (I make notes).

Sometimes the thought of sketching seems like too much effort in an already busy day. So why do I do it? I don't want to sound over-the-top here but put simply, I sketch to feel alive.

I do it for that feeling of being completely immersed in something so that time passes as if in a dream and I wake up from it feeling energised. I do it to connect to my world, to really see it. And I do it to make something.

Sitting down to do a sketch can seem indulgent when there are other, more pressing, things to do. But I think it's just as important as sweeping the floor and doing the dishes - maybe more.

Tomorrow there will be more dirty dishes and more crumbs. There will always be household chores as long as I live. But if I don't do the sketch, time will pass regardless. The floor will be clean and the sink will be empty, but so will the pages. And then what will I have to show for myself? What will I have made?

Jodi Wiley in Fabriano Venezia sketchbook. Drawing with dip pen - 'Flapjack' succulent, a gift from my mum.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to live in squalor, but it doesn't have to be a choice. I can do both.

I can take care of all the responsibilities of having a young family and carve out five minutes for a drawing.

The little sketch above took about that time. And here it is, a drawing exists where it didn't before. It's tiny, but it's there. And lots of little things over time turn into a life lived large and purposefully.

So let's spend our lives making things!