Drawing On the Side Art Blog
All my life, ever since I started picking up a pencil and paper to draw whatever my heart had contented, I have been attracted to the tools of the trade. The basic tool I'd always stopped to look at whenever I'd visit a Michael's or any other arts and crafts store were the pencils. Yes, to this day I love to stop and look at the different brands of pencils_the different shades, from the dark and heavy to the light and fine_and I always get a sense of awe from it.
Most people, especially my wife, don't understand why I need to look at these simple writing utensils. But that's what they see_writing utensils. What I see are magical instruments that help me put the images I have in my head to the paper sitting in front of me. To them, pencils are just some little pieces of wood with graphite within it to use as a simple implement to jot down some notes or phone numbers. For me, it's a conduit between my mind and the sketchbook in my lap.
I don't know how or when this fascination took over me. Remembering in school, when students_basically, boys_would pit themselves against each other for "pencil fighting," I would never take part. The thought of taking perfectly good pencils to use as weapons against other pencils offended me in some trivial way. Thinking to myself back then, as I admired the pencils I owned in my school desk, I just couldn't believe why other boys would find that a means of amusement. Even years later in middle school, I recall getting into a fight with another student because he deliberately broke my pencil as a joke to his pals that watched. I actually started the fight with this kid and he wasn't some wimpy little kid. Oh, no. He was a taller boy who was obviously stronger than me because all my friends went to hold him back and didn't worry about what I would do.
So, I'm sure you get an idea of how much I love pencils.
And not only do I love pencils, but I love paper as well.
The smooth and empty void of space on every page of a sketchbook or pad, just waiting for some creation to fill its emptiness, fills me with a sense of wonderment. It might sound dumb, but that's the best way I can explain how I feel about it. Even though I have quite a few sketchbooks at home, some half-filled and some that I haven't started on yet, I still like to glance at all the different ones they have on display at stationary shops I frequent. The way I leaf through them, you'd think I was shuffling through a new novel that was just released.
If you glanced through my little biography I'd written for my blog, you'd see that I sort of owe a little to my dad for being proud of my interest in drawing. He really paid a lot of attention to it and my love for drawing was probably the only thing he really tried to push me into pursuing in life. With the sad truth of my brother being his favorite, it really made me happy when he did brag to other people of how he felt about my artistic ability. He'd tell people in front of me, sometimes embarrassing me with his fixation of it, that I could draw anything. Although I felt that he exaggerated a little, it made me feel loved and appreciated_not ignored and looked over when my brother brought home his good grades or took up saxophone at school or went to college or brought home a new girlfriend. The moments when he bragged about me, although few and far between, made up for the times when I was disregarded.
When my father supported my hobby, however, he really went full throttle.
As a child, and as my drawing talent caught my father's eye, he really went to great lengths to support it in any way he could. He'd constantly bring home unneeded copy papers that had work orders or other inscriptions on one side and told me to just use the other side where it was blank. Also, he'd bring home perfect #2 pencils for me to use on the paper. So maybe that's where I get my affinity for pencils and paper. Who knows?
As much as my dad wanted me to have these two valuable items to use, he also didn't want me to waste them. Being that as it may, he'd keep the pencils and paper locked up in a cabinet located in our garage. So maybe that's why I keep looking at pencils and paper whenever I visit craft shops or book stores; subconsciously, I probably see the material in the stores as the items locked away in a cabinet.
I don't know, maybe I'm reading too much into how I feel about pencils and paper. But I do remember one dream I had as a child. It was a normal day as I walked home from school that I was walking down the street and I stumbled upon a stashed box in the bushes across the street from my house. What was in the box? Packages of paper and cartons of pencils.
Although there are many tools to use in drawing_like erasers, straight edges, erasing shields, stencils, inks, and of course pencil sharpeners_the two main items you're always going to need, in my opinion, are pencils and paper