I CAN'T DRAW: More Truth Behind the Trees
Someone I met recently asked if I could draw her favorite tree. Nope, I said. I can’t draw. She looked at me funny. But I really can’t. If I TRY to draw a tree (or anything else for that matter) the results are dull and lifeless at best. Of course you can draw, they say. Look at all of your trees!
Truth is, I don’t know how these trees spring to life. I sit down with no agenda. Sometimes they emerge during a marathon binge of The Handmaid’s Tale or Succession. Others reveal themselves on my lowered tray table during bumpy flights. I’ve yet to spill my 4oz cup of red wine on a tree, but I’m sure I’m pressing my luck on that one. I have to actively NOT TRY to draw a tree which is weird when you’re effectively and actively drawing trees for a living.
I’m beginning to fully embrace that I'm simply the vehicle through which they come. Their names, personalities and stories reveal themselves once they’re alive on the page. A story for a commissioned tree woke me up the other night at 2:30am. It had arrived and my job was simply to write it down. The less I think, the better it is.
This dynamic and the life-change it brings isn’t lost on me. After years of life as a TV producer where the job description is Panic At All Times, I now must resist even thinking about the task at hand. That’s super weird.
I’m also learning to say out loud, “I’m an artist.” I’m dealing with the whole fraud thing — Rembrandt was an artist, Basquiat was an artist blah, blah I’m no artist, blah, blah. You get it.
So who cares that I can’t draw? What I can do is flow. I can sit in a state that’s the opposite of panic. I can think about people I love, colors, and magic. I can blend all of these things together to tell a story. I can create a work of something called art. But I guess the bottom-line is: Don’t ask me to draw a tree. Because I’ll panic. Like a TV producer. And then we’re back to the beginning...
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