Monday, January 23, 2012

Draw Like an Egyptian


We got some great news today from my daughters school. She had entered a piece of her artwork in a competition set by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers.  Her piece (above) was a self-portrait done with pastels. There were a few thousand from the state and her piece was selected as one of the Gold Key winners. This is a pretty significant achievement given the number of entries. She was excited, but in typical Sarah form, she is humble about it. Like many of her achievements, I am more excited than her.

Part of what I admire about it is that I have never been good at art. I used to love to draw football players until someone pointed out that their head was pointed in one direction and their feet in another. They looked like Egyptian glyphs if you know what I mean. My players were "Walking like an Egyptian." When the friend pointed this out to me, it kind of ruined my love of drawing. To top it off, he was able to draw football players and make them look real. Really real, not Egyptian real. It was an epic moment for me in some ways realizing I kind of sucked at art. It was also an epiphany for me too though in recognizing that there are people who are just gifted at it. You can probably train people to be better at it, but they'll likely never be as good as those to whom it comes naturally.

This evening after I get home from work I see a post on Facebook by my wife saying she wished she enjoyed exercise as much as she enjoys cooking. I commented that I wish I enjoyed cooking even a smidgen as much as I enjoy working out.

What it boils down to is everyone has their gig. Everyone is gifted at something. A couple of my guy friends are good at woodworking. Me? I can't see angles, measure poorly and am dangerous with a saw. (Though I did lay some mean quarter-round this weekend in our office.) They are good at it because they like it. I don't like it. There's the difference. I do it when it needs doing, but often cursing the process and the experience the whole time. There's no love there.

As I said my wife loves cooking. Absolutely loves it. It's her way of relaxing. Something is always on the stove or in the works for tomorrow's menu. Again, I can do it, minimally, if I have to, I guess. It's grueling and painful to me. It's totally like work to me, no pleasure. Donna knows that and respects it, and I do the same with her in regards to working out. It's what you call an understanding.

My gig is writing, I guess. Most of my friends say that what I like to do would kill them. They hate it. Again, I think you can teach people to write better, but unless they want to do it (and are gifted at it) they will never be as good as someone who enjoys it.

The point is, find what you enjoy doing, then do it. It will make you better and if you're good at it, it WILL make the world better. It WILL make your family better. If you're not doing it, you have to figure out what it is. The world is waiting for you, but it won't wait forever. Dream, stretch, and grow. Leave the world a better place because you were in it. Right now I'm going to go do that, so I'm...

Blogging off...