More practice (with a dose of failure)


I’ve started a drawing practice this year. Inspired by the 20 Ways to Draw a Cat book, I call these my daily cat drawings even though they obviously aren’t all cats. The plan is to do a quick little drawing every day when I first get up. Also obvious is the fact that I don’t actually do this every day. But it’s ok because it’s practice and I’ve learned this year that one of the important things about practicing is to keep doing it, rather than giving up at the first sign of failure.


I had these colored papers left over from a project I did a year or so ago. I cut them up and keep them handy, along with a Micron 03 pen to make it easy to do a quick drawing in the morning. Sometimes my drawings are cute. Other times they suck. And some times I don’t fit one in. That’s how it goes with practice.


Speaking of practicing and failing, here I am after a particularly sucky run the other day. Between crappy weather and a nasty sinus infection, it had been a couple of weeks since my last run. The day started out sunny and beautiful and I was really excited to run at lunch. And then I got out there and the wind was blowing 40 miles an hour and my lungs felt awful and I got a stitch in my side and I had to stop to walk short of my goal. I’m smiling in this picture because the suckiness of my run is over, but also because I’d just decided I had been due for a sucky run and I wasn’t going to let it stop me. That’s how it goes with practice.

This entry was posted in drawing, life, mixed media, practice, running. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to More practice (with a dose of failure)

  1. The most profound piece of art advice I ever got was “draw what you see, not what you know.” Totally improved my ability! What it means is to break down the drawing into shapes: circle, triangle, half moon etc. and focus on that instead of what the object is. If you tell yourself to draw what you see (shape) instead of what know (subject) it comes out better. Had to share keep up the practice!!

  2. b-ephemeral says:

    yes, so true: practicing is about keeping on doing it. And to let go of the ‘all or nothing’ mindset, which is what I had to learn. It’s ok to do a little bit, or to skip a day. Practice is a long-term thing, so it’s ok to just plod along and not always put all your energy into it.


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