DRAWING PRACTICE


I've been obsessed with drawing ever since I was a little girl. I mainly loved drawing animals and my favourite pastimes. I rode horses from a young age, so some of my favourite things to draw were horses and ponies. I also loved drawing wildlife. As a homeschooler from Grade 4 to Grade 8, my parents took my brother and me on awesome adventures mid-term while all the other kids were stuck at school. Living in beautiful South Africa meant many off-roading trips around SA and surrounding countries like Botswana and Namibia, and on these trips I loved drawing the wonderful animals we saw... cheeky vervet monkeys and zebras were two of my choice subjects.

As I reached my teens, I developed a great love for design. This meant my drawing started to change quite significantly. I originally thought I wanted to be an Interior Designer when I was "big", and so I would spend hours and hours designing floor plans and 3-D perspectives of homes. I was quite enamoured with bright "feature" walls, and I would always include them somewhere in my design.

In my late teens, my design flair evolved into a love of Fashion Design, which is what I eventually studied for three years after Matric. I really enjoyed designing garments and drawing interesting outfit combinations on figures. To be honest, I didn't think I'd eventually be designing socks, but this is where I am now and I love it!

I think the thing I love most about designing socks is choosing the colour combinations and planning patterns that translate well onto this seemingly small and strange little walking canvas. When studying Fashion Design, I always gravitated towards design that was wearable and accessible for as many people as possible, which is why I love socks, I think. Everybody wears socks at some point. Whether they're worn frequently or not so often, socks are a staple in everybody's wardrobe... so why not make them fun?!

When I'm designing socks for FEAT. sock co., I really love absorbing inspiration from lived experiences and adventures I've been on. The only thing that saddens me about the process is that it's all digital, and I really miss drawing by hand. I still LOVE hand drawn illustration... I love doing it, I love seeing it, I love buying it! It's the first thing that grabs me in a shop or on a website... I just can't walk or scroll past something hand drawn without taking a good look. I'm like a moth to a flame.

So, in an effort to keep drawing and practicing one of my first loves, I decided at the end of July that I wanted to try and draw every day for a month (possibly longer). Strangely enough, I made this decision before happening upon this exciting post by a British Illustrator I really admire, Savannah Storm. When I saw Savannah posting about #drawgust, I thought to myself: "This is perfect! Just what I've been looking for." There's a new drawing prompt everyday which meant I hopefully wouldn't feel tempted to say, "Ah, I don't know what to draw today. Let me skip it today."... because that's generally how the slow decline of a goal that requires discipline begins.

Drawgust prompts by British Illustrator Savannah Storm

I decided that I had to stay committed to the challenge, and the results have been so amazing for me. My level of inspiration and my ability to more easily pick up a pencil and simply draw at a moment's notice, have increased dramatically. I believe this is a result of committing to the act of drawing every day, regardless of the outcome. There were many days when I thought to myself, "I hate this. I'm terrible at this! Why do I even bother?" But the result was never the point... the point was creating every day, and letting the process grow and refine my ability.

I saw this quote online yesterday, and it is so very true of what I've been learning during this #drawgust challenge...

The act of creating

There has been an exciting new project that has evolved out of this challenge that I will share about soon. But for now, I encourage you to remember what you love, or really acknowledge a skill that you want to flourish in, and commit to it through a daily/weekly/monthly challenge. You owe it to yourself. Maybe it's drawing everyday, but it could be writing or singing or surfing. When we let one of our deep-seated passions go ignored/unrecognised, we really let ourselves down. I guarantee you that it will be difficult at first, and your insecurity in this area might rear its ugly head. But I can also guarantee you that your skill will grow and become more and more refined as you submit to the process.

Below are some of my #drawgust pictures. I hope you enjoy. But if you don't, I don't really mind, because the act is more important than the result (or what anyone really thinks of the result).

Hand drawn image of swimmer by Chelsey Wilson

Hand drawn yoga poses by Chelsey Wilson

Hand drawn figs by Chelsey Wilson

Colourful plant drawn by Chelsey Wilson

Lemons drawn with Promarkers - by Chelsey Wilson

Snorkeling at Manta Point - Hand drawn by Chelsey Wilson