The other day, I was drawing a design for the book I’m working on. I wasn’t at all happy with the way I was drawing. I’ve been working so much digitally that I feel out of practice with pen on paper.
I may end up re-drawing my illustrations for the book digitally, but I want the option of doing that.
So, yesterday evening, as some self-soothing, and this morning, I’ve been drawing in my ‘visual zibladone’, my A5 dotgrid where I keep all the patterns and motifs, well maybe not all but most, that I like to use. It’s a little book that I can flip through to find inspiration if I need it.
Adding designs, even if they’re duplicates, is a nice way to practice my drawing skills with pen or pencil.
When I work digitally, my pen strokes are much bigger, longer and involve me using my whole arm and wrist a lot more than when I use pen on paper.
I’m perhaps a lot bolder with my lines as I work digitally than I am when working on paper. I’m still precise with my lines, but the way my muscles work when I’m working digitally is different.
I hadn’t realised this until today.
Don’t get me wrong, I love drawing both ways, with traditional tools or digital tools.
However, I’d not really noticed the way that I move my fingers, wrist and arm when I work is different with each media. How curious!
So, I need to make time every day to draw with pen on paper to keep those skills just ticketty boo.
Just a little warning.
The words that follow may contain material for some that may be upsetting or triggering.
Please feel free to skip it.
So, Angela, how are you today?
I’m ok. Tired. EMDR yesterday was very emotional and exhausting.
I arrived at the session after having some snail mail which had me doubting my abilities as an artist/illustrator/author and it triggered that inner critic inside.
I felt warmth drain from my body. I started calling myself a failure, useless, delusional of my abilities and talent, that I really am worthless and useless, and that I’ve let people down. I even questioned my abilities as an artist, if I was deluding myself and others, living in a fantasy world rather than reality. Part of me just wanted to give it all up.
Another part of me told me that I wasn’t being silly, what I was hearing was not myself but the inner critic who had attacked me at the point of vulnerability and tried to stick its claws in once again and continue the job of so many people in my childhood and beyond of keeping me down and thinking the worst of myself.
This all tracks back to the earliest days I can remember in my life, and most of the days beyond. Nothing I did was ever good enough, and if I did good at something there was always someone who was either better or potentially was better. Always the slap-down. Every time I thought I’d done something good and tried to show it, I was always told I was wrong and everyone else was right and better.
By the time I got to therapy I was in a bit of a state. I do have to say nowhere as near as bad as I would’ve been even a few months ago, let alone a year or more ago. But still in a bit of an emotional state. Tearful. Worried. But not with the level of anxiety I’d usually feel, which surprised me, even though thoughts were running around my head like crazy.
Some of the thoughts were fairly rational, sensible, logical. That also surprised me.
Jung would call this an prime example of synchronicity – there’s no such thing as something being just a coincidence. Last week we started working on the negative belief I have that I’m a failure and useless and a disappointment. What a bit of synchronicity is that, eh?
We talked about what had triggered me and how I don’t need to go into or stay in full panic/flight/freeze mode, and about the confusion I felt that I should be really anxious and panicked, but I wasn’t. But we did use those negative thoughts for EMDR.
Lots of tears and physical pain and discomfort with the session yesterday. The negative beliefs I had changed into one of being deeply disappointed in myself and of having let others down.
At the end, I left feeling more upbeat than I arrived, even though I was absolutely bushwhacked emotionally.
I eventually got home, after a stop to get supplies to make some cucumber sandwiches. For some reason I really fancied them. I was hungry as I hadn’t eaten since breakfast early that morning.
I was tired, but knew that I couldn’t nap as it would wreck my sleep pattern, which was likely to be wrecked anyway.
And it was. I had a broken night’s sleep. I kept waking up and started fretting a little about yesterday’s mail. In the end, I gave up trying to go back to sleep and got up, breakfasted and determined I’d do some drawing.
I seem to be OK at the moment. My mind isn’t dwelling on the mail. I still feel a bit nervy though. That will pass.
Even though it was a challenging day yesterday, I think it’s shown me how far I’ve come. Not that long ago this would’ve absolutely floored me. Now, I seem to have a little resilience, and I reached out to people for some more information and explanation and advice too.
The rest of my day is going to be spent in self-soothing activities, which do include art!