The act of drawing, for me, is a meditative practice; it's something nourishing that I can do when I'd otherwise be looking at my phone or generating habitually anxious thoughts about the past or the future. When I find myself 15 minutes early for an appointment; with 30 minutes to wait before the next train; on a long tube journey; waiting for a friend who is late - those moments when I have some "time to kill"(or no wifi!) I can draw instead of look at my phone. Drawing offers a way into using those moments to nourish rather than distract.
Here's a very simple graph to illustrate the impact of drawing on happiness levels versus scrolling on my phone:
When I'm drawing I notice my anxiety levels drop; my habitually anxious thoughts dissipate - I'm where I need to be - in the present; resting on the page - just for a moment. I notice things I never would have seen had I not had my notebook and pen with me.
Here's my current notebook that I made using some leftover pages from an old notebook and some wrapping paper. The drawing is a sketch of a detail on a silk dress I was inspired by in the Design Museum in Copenhagen last year.
And here's a catkin study I drew recently when I had 15 minutes to "kill" on a park bench in Stoke Newington, London:
A study of my feet that I did last week when I had a dead phone and 30 minutes to wait for a train in Wadebridge recently:
For me it's not about doing a "good drawing" but doing something that makes me feel happier. So if nothing more, I'm hoping the #30drawingin30dayschallenge will help me to begin the habit of reaching for my sketchbook instead of my phone when I find myself with time to kill.