Student blog part 3 – drawing while stressed

We’re lucky to have Mayko and other experienced artists here to give us professional support and advice. Sometimes though students can also learn from someone that is going through the same learning process, so I’ll be writing articles on my experiences implementing life drawing advice. I’ve always loved drawing from my imagination but have little life drawing experience. So far I’ve been to around 25 life drawing classes.

A short post today about drawing while you’re feeling stressed.

Before my last life drawing class, I had a horrendous day at the office. I took on my one-A4-page-isn’t-enough to-do list in a battle of the ages, and I lost pretty thoroughly. So I was glad to have life drawing class to force me away from work, calm me down and take my mind off of things.

In the post on why you should take up life drawing, I mentioned how relaxing life drawing is and how perfect it is after a hard day at the office. It is an activity that requires focus and concentration but without pressure, so your mind is occupied but not stressed. The class atmosphere is tranquil. With my chatterbox brain, I wouldn’t be able to meditate for the life of me, but with life drawing sometimes I get quite close, and it feels good.

However, my stress level on this particular day was too much even for the calming power  of life drawing. My mind was completely on work and was running at 100mph. This really showed in the drawings I did. By this, I mean that they came out  looking like the scrawlings of an angry drunkard. I scratched hard charcoal lines on the page. I wasn’t tuned in to the figure in front of  me, and my arm didn’t know where to put the lines! I tried to force myself to focus but this mindset really didn’t seem to work for life drawing.

After the first half, I realised that it just wasn’t working. I packed up my things and headed home. Life drawing can take you away from the daily grind to a serene place when you need it to, but only if you’re willing to let it. If you’re completely pre-occupied with something else and you really can’t get your mind away from your worries, a life drawing session may not be successful.



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