This I Believe

Heather - Ventura, California
Entered on April 30, 2007

I need to draw MY way

I was lost during my middle school years. Everywhere I turned, I saw only dark blank messages on people’s faces or mocking laughter. I had no friends. It seemed I had no one to turn to. However, one beacon of light did show itself-my sketchbook.

To this day, I have no idea what drew me to this blank book. It had no words and no pictures; I had to fill it myself.

In elementary school, I was never ‘proficient’ at art to the point where I could be complimented by anyone besides my family. My drawings looked like a 3-year old did it, or so my classmates told me. It depressed me at first but then my mother taught me not to care what people thought about my art. This confused me at first, but I soon adopted that as my belief.

Throughout my early years of middle school, my art became worse and my classmates would not withhold their negative comments. I stopped drawing altogether.

I soon resigned myself to the fact that I would never be able to draw artistically enough for any of my classmates to stop making fun of me. Then, when I saw this beautiful anime picture, everything changed. At first, I thought that anime drawings were abnormal and something I would never draw, until I found this one picture, which showed three friends having fun-something that was indeed foreign to me. This picture was like a mirror where the image was distant and not something I had ever experienced before. I had no friends who would spend time with me. I decided to draw this picture so I could remember what it looked like. After I finished drawing the picture, I showed it to my classmates hoping they would consider me artistic. My classmates complimented my art but still shunned me, because it was ‘anime’. Once again, I had no friends because of my drawings.

I thought this would never change-people disliking me for my art preferences. I submitted myself to the fact that my classmates would always shun me for my art. Then, I came to high school. Here, I noticed that people remained my friends when they saw the pictures I drew. It was nice for someone to accept me no matter how I drew. I began to draw my pictures with enthusiasm and felt myself actually enjoying drawing because my friends did not judge me for the anime I drew. My friends encouraged me to improve my drawing skills because I had potential-this was something I had not heard before.

Why should I care if my art hangs in the finest gallery? It does not matter as long as my friends are my friends regardless of how I draw. I will continue to draw my pictures whatever it may be.