It’s been snowing a lot, making it difficult to do anything outside. Work hasn’t been giving me many hours lately, either. Which on the one hand is great because I’ve been able to do a lot more writing and reading, but on the other hand is leaving me with little money to put away. And because I have a few large payments coming up in a few months (not to mention I can’t find a better job around here), I’ve been freaking out a little. Freaking out leads to self-doubt, which leads to our familiar friend depression. Winter’s been hitting me straight in the feels, and I can’t wait for spring.
So with this extra free time, being stuck indoors, and getting lost in my thoughts, I’ve also been very nostalgic. And if you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know I can really get stuck living in memories. Lately I’ve been thinking about my childhood, in particular. I keep thinking about the things me and my best friend next door used to do together. There were a lot of video games, so I’ve found myself revisiting some of the ones we used to play, like the Donkey Kong Country series and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.
With Sonic Adventure 2: Battle in particular, I kept thinking about how much I used to like video game art. My best friend and I would play games, and then we’d take some sketch pads, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, erasers, and whatever into the big guest room in his house, drop everything on the floor, and just draw. For hours. Well, maybe not huge chunks of hours. Childhood mindsets aren’t great at interpreting lengths of time accurately. But we drew a lot, that much is true.
We took our video game instruction manuals and strategy guides and looked through them for cool artwork to draw from. And when the Internet became more relevant, we’d print pictures of more art to draw from (our parents didn’t like this). I mentioned in a previous post how some of my strongest memories involved video games, and now I’m thinking maybe one of the reasons for that is because I spent so much time looking at the art and copying every detail onto paper.
This wasn’t just something I did as a kid, either. When I was turning into a *lovable* teenager, I drew during class a lot, too. I still have some of the drawings I did on notebook paper, whether they were video game characters or not. And for whatever reason, it really makes me happy to see some of those old drawings surrounded by notes about subjects I never really cared about. Hell, I still have my binder from 8th grade algebra. It’s falling apart, but I drew Spongebob, Sonic, and Dragonball Z characters on the cover and never wanted to throw it away.
Man, I miss drawing! I used to draw fairly regularly throughout my early college days, too. In fact, I got pretty good, better than I ever was as a kid or teenager. So what happened?
I guess it probably started out during my first semester of college. I took art and interior design classes, so I was drawing all the time. I got up at 5 every morning to draw, and I was usually still working on an assignment before I went to bed (my first semester of college was surprisingly one of my busiest ones). While I ended up hating my art class (and my professor, he was kind of a snob), I did learn one crucial thing: if you’re going to do something for a living, make sure you love it. While I loved art and drawing under my own terms, it was really obvious I didn’t have the patience or interest to make a career out of it.
After that semester, I still sketched and drew here and there, but I started focusing more on my writing once I transferred into my main college. In the end that worked out; I found myself to have a much deeper appreciation for writing than I did with art, and I actually want to do something with my writing.
Although I don’t draw that often anymore, drawing and those memories are still very much a big part of me. I’ve always liked cartoons and video game art, and sometimes I still just browse through my old strategy guides or through Google’s image search, hoping to spark an inspiration to pick up a pencil and marker again. And last week I had this really strong urge to draw something from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, so I grabbed my sketch pad and drew this:
God, it felt so good to draw on paper with a pencil and marker again! Most of the art I’ve done in the past year has been digital, but this was just so satisfying! I loved it, I loved drawing again! Man, I miss it. When I’m not feeling great, and when writing’s not working for me, and when I’m feeling nostalgic, I’ve got to remember to try drawing more.