Diving right in

Mar 5, 2013 by

I’ve always been critical about my drawing skills. I’ve questioned every perfectly good idea I’ve had. And stopped myself from just trying something out. Panic-stricken and drowning before I even get my feet wet properly.

So now, as an exercise, I force myself to draw as soon as I sit down at my table. Before I have time to think, and stress over, what. Run over lines if I have to. Make mistakes. Feel free. Be messy. And not afraid.

I didn’t set out to draw these images today. I have no idea which recess of my brain it crawled out of. When the critic isn’t whispering in your head in a thousand voices, your mind, and even  your hand can surprise you.


This letting-go takes some getting used to. I still struggle with it.  Much like learning how to swim.


But at least I’ll finally be able to enjoy the water.

Maybe, there’s even a story here.

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  1. Ramya

    This post spoke to me! We are swimming in similar waters! Wish I was not so afraid of letting go. :(

    • Gayathri

      Aww :) Well, clearly as you can see, it’s not an uncommon feeling. I still struggle with it a lot. But honestly, stress never helps creativity. And self-criticism is an even bigger obstacle. I swear by doodling. Maybe see if that helps?

      • Ramya

        I agree, I should get back to doodling and more importantly, make a regular habit of it. I got frustrated with trying to illustrate by hand and decided to experiment on Illustrator. But you know what that means, my illustrations look stiff, lack emotion and are terribly boring. Besides, I’m missing out on all that fun of getting my hands dirty.

        Sorry, meant to hit reply. You can delete the other comment.

        • Gayathri

          I’m already impressed that you work on Illustrator! Attempting to do anything on Photoshop itself scares the living daylights out of me. Stiff learning curve. Have you been doing it long? Any recommendations you might have if I’m trying to learn CS5? I use all my doodling and drawing as a means to get away from my computer. Haha. But I could do with learning how to touch up stuff at least.

          And yes, don’t give up on working by hand. Whether the results are not what you want yet, it will eventually reveal your natural, intuitive style :) That’s why I’m plodding along with it. Go dirty them hands already!

          • Ramya

            I have been using the Adobe suite for my graphic design needs for about 3 years now. I started out with zero experience and picked up techniques along the way.

            I wish there was a comprehensive resource I could point you to. I’m mostly self-taught. I scour the web when I get stuck and find solutions on the go. :( Not the most efficient way to do it, but it is virtually impossible to learn the whole toolbox before applying it. So my advice is to start with a goal in mind and hack at it and find solutions as you go.

          • Gayathri

            A-ha. I thought as much. An easy solution is too good to be true :) I’m fairly familiar with InDesign because I had to work in it for book layouts. But I haven’t gotten around to learning Illustrator. And Photoshop, I’m also learning on my own, googling for solutions when I get stuck. But it is seriously time consuming, and I thought there might be a more efficient solution. Thanks anyhoo! :)

  2. Ramya

    Sorry I couldn’t be of any help. I’ll definitely share links if I come across any that do a fine job of decoding Photoshop and Illustrator.

    That said, are you taking requests for blog topics? If yes, can you please throw some light on what you looked for in a children’s book as an editor? I am having difficulty getting started. Should I draw first, or follow an idea and write first? Or do them simultaneously? How long should the book be? That type of thing. If a blog topic is too tedious, maybe point me to resources that you swear by? That would help me immensely. Thanks!

    • Gayathri

      Oh no problem; and sure if you come across something useful do share!

      I’m a bit behind on some posts, but when I catch up can definitely share my experience/resources etc :)

  3. Yamini Vijayan

    Lovely illustrations, Gayatri. Glad I came to your blog. It’s already gotten me excited. I’m obsessed with picture books too. Keep writing! I’ll be following your blog.

    • Gayathri

      Oh yaay, welcome Yamini! Always glad to draw another enthusiast into the fold :) Hope to see you come around often!

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