The Six (or Seven) Step Program for Becoming an Artist

Christmas Tree

Winter is not the most productive time of year. There’s a lot of sleeping going on (which is to be expected when the sun sets at 4:00), and eating and drinking, but not a lot of working. Between holidays and snow days and sick days who can get anything useful done anyway? It’s a good time of year to stay at home and putter.

Everyone putters in their own way. The main thing is to not strain yourself. No heavy lifting (and, if you must, be sure to bend your knees). Stay away from open flame and open windows and open minds. In the event of an open wound you may need to seek medical attention (i.e., leave your home and puttering sanctuary) so it’s best to stay away from open wounds too.
You can always try drawing. What could possibly go wrong? To find out what can go wrong, follow my simple 6- (or 7-) step program.

  1. Get a piece of paper.
  2. Get an implement or two that are capable of making a mark on the paper.
  3. Make your mark. Be careful not to get cocky at this point. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Once you’ve mastered the smudge and the splotch you can try more advanced techniques like the line and the nude. You might find alcohol helpful at this point.
  4. Have a drink.
  5. Stare at something for a long time. It doesn’t matter what it is, but that nude sounded nice.
  6. Again, I’m going to have to caution against cockiness. You’re at Step 6 already and think you’ve pretty much got this thing down. You don’t. Step 6 is a little tricky at first but once you’ve mastered this step you’re good to go. Ready? Here it is: Try to get your lines and smudges to look like the thing you’ve been staring at.
  7. (optional) If you’re unhappy with your results, repeat from Step 5 (or Step 4, depending on your proclivities.

Good luck!

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