Yes, yes, I know. I was supposed to put a new entry up yesterday. Well, I had a good reason not to: I was drinking.
Not just drinking for drinking's sake thought! I attended an event at Pittsburgh's Toonseum called "Toons & Brews."
The toons were everywhere: cells from TV shows, hand-drawn renderings of beloved characters, signed comic strips with editorial comments and a run of episodes from Warner Bros classic Looney Tunes (which I could watch all friggin day).
The brews were provided by Pittsburgh's very own Church Brew Works. This brewpub is built within an old cathedral and cranks out some very tasty beer. On tap last night were their very tasty Brown Ale and a special seasonal called Ambrosia that was incredible. They also had their award winning IPA in bottles. (I'm also an amateur homebrewer for those who are keeping track/want to enroll me in a 12 step program)
The beer was provided to loosen up people's inhibitions. Why, you ask? Because we would all be drawing in front of each other. With permanent markers. (Yeah our instructor took away the trusty pencil and eraser that I depend so heavily upon)
Drawing and writing have a lot in common when it comes to embarrassing uncertainty. And I love both arts, I even want to write/ink my own comic book someday, or maybe even start a web comic. The real trick to both of them is to, in the immortal words of Allen Iverson:
Practice! People are born with different levels of talent, that's for sure. That much was evident from the room full of different interpretations of the instructor's drawing. My friend who accompanied me seemed to draw things as seen through the eyes of a meth addict.
But practice and persistence is what pays off in the end. Regrettably I stopped practicing my drawing years ago. I was decent at drawing from a stock image, but I got frustrated at my inability to draw the things I could visualize in my head. And I quit.
Though last night I did win two prizes (more out of pity than skill, and more because they amused the judges than anything else), the most important thing was the rekindling of my love of drawing. And, any time you do something slightly out of your comfort zone, especially something creative, it sorta opens up your mind a little more. Since I'm mired in my writerly revisions, taking a step outside to do some goofy drawings was exactly what I needed.
Now I'm refreshed and ready to dig back into editing. If you have a local cartoonist offering booze and drawing lessons, I'd highly recommend attending. If not, just crack a cold one and get that doodlepad out.