Day 7

Lesson 7

"A professional acts in the face of fear."

-The War of Art

"You could never steps twice in the same river, for other waters are ever flowing onto you."


"The place to learn about your materials is in the last use of your materials. The best place to learn about your execution is in your execution. The best information you have about what you love is in your last contact with what you love."

- Art and Fear

Artist's Block

Seems like we're almost out of the woods, eh Bootcampers? Day 7!

But don't rest too easy. The demon today is a pretty straight forward obstacle, but if you don't know where it's lurking the trap could spring on you and you'd be trapped for ages. 

I imagine Artist's Block, today's demon, as a booby trap that can fall on you as you walk down your creative path. 

And just when you think you're past all those nasty BAD demons, that's when you are most likely to spring this demon's trick. 

One wrong step and it's like a cage comes down to trap you. This demon isn't a voice in your head, but a big, blank nothing. 

No ideas. 

No motivation.

No nothing.

Like looking around at a bunch of blank walls for eternity, this can drive you crazy. And what's worse, is that while you can't get out of this mental cage, it's easy for the other demons to get in. 

Distraction bringing your attention to what you can see out from between the bars instead of focusing on escape.

Comparison pointing out all the other artists who aren't in your fix.

Self-doubt wondering if you'll ever get out. 

Perfectionism saying you have to find the PERFECT thing to draw!

Procrastination saying you can take a nap and then find a way out. (Inconsistency, his big bro, says y'all can spoon). 

How to overcome this demon?

Artistic Block is like a cage with voice-activated locks. 

(Don't worry, it can be an interior voice if you don't want to be caught talking to your sketchbook as you try to figure out what to draw!)

Here's all you need to know, and you can paraphrase:

"It doesn't matter WHAT I draw, just THAT I draw." 

In a way, Artist's Block is a demon that Perfectionism sets loose. She tells us we need the PERFECT person place or thing to draw, something that lights up our heart and mind and says something deep and artistic about us, that we chose to draw it/ 

However, in the end, it's the ACT of drawing which will make you fall in love with the thing you are drawing.

I used to struggle with finding the "right" thing to draw until I found how much joy was hiding in my sketchbook when I was stuck drawing unlikely subjects during dull moments.

I didn't paint for years because all of my favorite artists painted deeply philosophical and conceptual works, and I couldn't figure my thing out yet.

And in the meantime? I lost out on improving basic skills that would have helped me later on

Day 7 Drawing Drill

Materials Needed:


-Pen and/or pencil

-Colored pencils (optional) 


1) Look around where ever you are drawing today. Try to find the most BORING couple of objects in your area. A roll of paper towels, perhaps? A plate? A blank sheet of paper?

2) Set up the object(s) and adjust if possible to add interest.

If you have a blank piece of paper, what about crumpling it? 

A jacket or towel drawn in charcoal with attention to value and shading can fascinate for hours!

3) Set your timer for 20-30 minutes. Draw your item as you like, possibly with continuous line interval drawings, perhaps looking at texture. Be creative in finding interest in your subject.

You'll be surprised!

Action cures fear.

That's my mantra, Bootcampers, and I hope you can find it useful as well. 


You just completed 7 days of butt-kicking bootcamp!

You will meet these demons time and again on your artistic quest, so come back here when you need to refresh. 

I wish you luck on your drawing journey, it has been an honor drawing with you.