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Alaska Robotics Drawing Night

December 20, 2013

Alaska Robotics in Juneau hosts a really fun drawing night every Wednesday, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to stop in when I was in town for work last week. I had made arrangements with Pat Race and the model Kaylee to let me photograph her while she was posing.

I can't remember the last time I enjoyed drawing or sketching. I must have enjoyed it when I was a child, as most children do. I remember having graph-paper-like books when I was young that let me create crazy geometric shapes by connecting lines and dots, and oh man I would do that for hours.

I'd probably still do that for hours, actually.

Reminder: add to Christmas wishlist for next year.

As an adult, drawing has been a source of more frustration than enjoyment. I can't get the final result to look anything like I want, let along look anything like the subject I was drawing. I couldn't get on paper any of the details that my mind was seeing and also drawing was stupid.

I love photography. There's a lot of math involved and rules that I can base the creativity off of. By contrast, drawing feels like it has no base of math or rules: just a white piece of paper and a pencil.

So I was happy that I was able to photograph Kaylee while she was posing for other artists. Until the poses were 10 minutes long: there's only so much I want to photograph, and filling 10 minutes with more photos of her shoes wasn't terribly appealing.

To fill the time, I pulled out my iPad and stylus and started sketching.

It was amazing. The iPad and stylus combination is terrible for precision work, which didn't allow me to get stuck on my inability to capture details. The details may look like crap but that was partially due to my tools, and I was able to let my perceived artistic inability go.

Limiting my tools helped me release the little anxiety whispers that it wasn't perfect and didn't look anything like the model and why do I even think I can do this art thing anyway, I'm a terrible person.

I was pleased and surprised at what I sketched: it doesn't look like crap at all! I mean yes the fingers look like crap and I gave up all attempts at drawing faces.

But more importantly, I really enjoyed sketching.

My brain hyper focused on the model and the light grey lines on my iPad and the two hours was over in a heartbeat.

I'm so glad I went. I recommend Alaska Robotics drawing night (Wednesdays 6-8) to everyone in Juneau, and will be seeking out similar drawing groups here in Anchorage.

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Hi, I'm Valette

I'm a photographer based out of Anchorage, Alaska. I've recently become a wife, a stepmother, and a homeowner. Life is pretty awesome. You can email me anytime. Learn more...

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