You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting lately. Honestly, I just haven’t been in the mood to draw. It’s not simply a lack of motivation, which everyone experiences from time to time. When dealing with depression, doing just about anything is challenging. And for me, art tops the list—when just getting out of bed seems impossible, it is unlikely that I am going to pick up a pencil and get creative. Although, for some reason, this doesn’t seem to extend to music; I’m actually likely to get out my guitar and write a song.
Some people use visual art as a way to work through or express what they’re feeling, and I think that’s a great outlet. But when I’m depressed, I just don’t want to draw. I barely want to do anything, let alone something that will likely make me feel worse if it doesn’t turn out the way I hoped it would. So when I say “drawing through” depression, I really mean overcoming the depression to allow myself to draw, rather than using drawing to get through the depression. Hopefully I can get through it soon…
If I’m being honest, I often use art as a distraction. I look at something, I try to recreate it, and I enjoy doing that, but mostly it just passes the time and, hopefully, distances me from the negative thoughts that the depression plants in my head.
Unfortunately, I haven’t yet learned to use art to convey my feelings. This is one of the things that I fear holds me back from creating more “meaningful” art. The best I can do at this point is a sentimental drawing of a person who looks sad.
So, how do you depict an emotion? Or instill it in your work? I don’t have these answers yet, but it’s certainly something to think about.
Girl in the Rain, pencil, circa 2004