According to Mirriam-Webster, inspiration is “the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions; the act of influencing or suggesting opinions”. For me, this power of moving the emotions and suggesting opinions comes from art. Many people have asked, “Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, what did you do to counter it?” My simple answer was art.
Dragon’s Posterity which just released in Decmeber sat half finished on my computer for five years. That’s what I call writer’s block! I tried to unblock the story for the sake of a young man who wanted book five to read. I read the other books in the series and I drew trying to get a path for the story, but the voices in my head had shut up. In the process though, my art improved.
1. Drawing dragons
I started with dragons and some of them are down right ugly! They’re fat and even look dinosaurish. The more I worked, though, the better I became. I searched through deviantart for dragons and found help and inspiration. The beautiful drawings of artists further advanced than me kept me trying. In the meantime, I learned about dragons for my stories.
2. Drawing people
Somewhere along the line, I decided to draw the riders of Dragon Courage and their friends. However, my first try at drawing Brogran and Ben’hyamene looked more like neanderthal men. With a deep sigh, I went back to the drawing board, quite literally. I began following artists like Paul Stowe and Ambro Jordi. I watched their gifs and videos and gained inspiration, and yet still, the story didn’t come.
3. Drawing with color
Colored pencils made their way into my pencil bag. I found they didn’t sing to me like graphite did. I struggled with them but still worked with dragons. Then one day, a dragon’s eye clicked! My artistic ability didn’t change overnight, but I found other artists who were willing to share their knowledge. Eventually, I was able to make the transition to color. I then discovered pastels. These moved faster much like my lifestyle had changed. Without time to draw, I needed something to work with in short spurts and to finish quickly.
4. Drawing Portraits
As I kept working and trying to unblock the story, I found my hobby becoming drawing. I didn’t worry as much about the story and just enjoyed the feel of paper under my hand and the weight of the pencil in my fingers. I’d spend between ten minutes to a half hour at a time with the theraputic feel of shading, erasing, and drawing. This is when people caught my eye.
My family loves cameras. My husband has gone from landscape to portrait photographer, while my daughter is pursuing a photography career, and each of my sons has a unique view from the lens. Their photos inspired me to try to draw them. My neanderthal people slowly transformed to become living, breathing humans whose eyes followed us as we moved across the room.
It still amazes me the progress I’ve made, from those beginning cartoonish drawings to photorealistic portraits. The beauty of it all is that somewhere along the line, the voices began to talk again. At first they were whispers, but whispers became normal voices, which moved to almost yelling. Now, I have stories waiting to be told, and I don’t have time for the drawings I love. What inspires your heart? Let me know.