The Big Issue: If we know we’re not the best artist and can’t create perfect pictures, what should we aim to create?
Sarah McIntyre: It’s not always the perfect drawings we really connect with (and possibly share on social media), it’s the pictures that make us laugh. Or the ones that feel relatable. I’d say, rather than trying for perfection, aim for connection: draw something that makes your child smile, or gives granny a good belly laugh. Sometimes the drawings where we’re being a bit silly turn out to have the most life to them.
Why is perfection not the most important goal?
When we aim for something epic – like creating a 300-page graphic novel when we’ve never even drawn a comic strip before – we inevitably get lost on the way. Maybe we run out of energy, or our drawing style changes over the years, before we’re even finished that one massive project. The difference between a wannabe author and an author is that the wannabe starts books, but the author finishes them. And the secret to finishing books? Make very short books! A finished eight-page book beats an unfinished novel.
How can we learn to embrace our mistakes?
We need to learn to forgive our work, embrace it with a sort of inner hug. If a child was struggling with their maths assignment, you wouldn’t yell at them and throw them out on to the street. But we do that with our drawings, we get angry and crumple them up. Treat your drawing like a child, give your drawing time to grow.