As children, our quest to explore and embrace our imagination often paved the way for us to do things without a second thought. Without the pressure of ‘getting it wrong’ we would happily draw, doodle and scribble our desires out on paper without a care in the world. So what went wrong? When did the thought of drawing something suddenly become so scary? Has this creativity left us? The simple answer, thankfully, is no.
As a society we are obsessed with outcomes. Have we achieved our best at work? Is the cake I’ve made good enough to share with others? Most of us, given the chance, just can’t help but self criticise and worry that what we have produced isn’t good enough. Since stepping into adulthood we feel pressure to ‘be the best’ and whilst that’s not a terrible thing – setting yourself a target and pushing yourself can be super motivational – there can be times when the pressure to do so results in us striving for unattainable perfection.
Sadly, as a result of this preoccupation, drawing has – for most of us at least – been shelved in the ‘I’m no good at this so I won’t do it anymore’ section. Even as someone who draws for a living (I am a textile designer by trade) the thought of drawing something that wasn’t very good and, even worse, letting someone see it, is somewhat terrifying.
But why does this matter?
It matters because, in the age of digital overload taking the time out of our busy schedules to change pace and focus our attention on drawing gives us the opportunity to reconnect with ourselves and our physical environment.
The act of observation and having a mindful awareness of our chosen subject matter gives way to a moment of calm; where we can pause before recording ourexperience through the act of making mark on paper, ideally without self criticism or judgement of what the physical outcome may look like. In short, drawing focuses the mind and trains our attention away from the stresses of everyday life and ruminating thoughts about our past or future, allowing us to exist only in the present.
If you fancy letting go of perfection and reconnecting with your inner creativity join us for ‘The Mindful Sketch’ – a session designed to help you focus on the present moment, give you permission to embrace mistakes and equip you with some simple techniques that will allow you to explore drawing as part of your personal wellness routine.
Hope to see you there!
A Mindful Sketch. Saturday 21 April, 10-1pm