During this period of lock-down, it is more important than ever to look after our mental health; and of course this is different for each person. To take the time to really know where you are mentally and emotionally can be in and of itself a roller-coaster. Taking each day as it comes, maybe even hour by hour.

I don’t know about you, but I feel that I have had the time to really delve into the heart of some the issues that I had ignored for quite a while. I didn’t have time to acknowledge them let alone, actually deal with them. It certainly is a time of vulnerability but I have also found that it is also a time of rediscovery.

One of the things I have rediscovered is drawing. I used to love drawing, but back when I was 16 and doing art for my GCSE’s, I had a horrible encounter with an art teacher that I thought had killed my love for it. It was actually during the exam and she undermined every decision I was making, questioned my approach and hovered over me like a bad smell. It was supposed to be silent exam and she just refused to let me be. I know I shouldn’t have let her take away my joy of art but, she did; and after my GCSE’s (which I got a B in by the way) I turned my back on it.

Over the years I have doodled, sketched here and there but then I scribble or rub it out.

Then I had this crazy idea a few weeks ago.

What if I could draw the characters that I have in my mind?

I nervously picked up my pencil and a blank piece of paper and tried to sketch something but I didn’t know where to start. I sighed and put down my pencil again.

The next time I picked up my phone, I was scrolling through facebook and there was an ad for skillshare, particularly art courses. Skillshare is an online community of teachers and classes that you can take. They had a promotional two month free access and I thought, why not?

After much scrolling and browsing, I settle on taking Brent Eviston’s course, The Art And Science Of Drawing.  He goes through all the real basics and fundamentals of drawing and honestly, I have really enjoyed each lesson. It has been a much needed challenge and an activity that has nothing to do with the kids, the house, the pets and the partner. It is purely for my enjoyment and it has helped me loads when things have gotten a little tense.

More importantly, it has reinvigorated my love of something that I thought I had lost. Even though I am not sure how I will continue this once things go back to ‘normal’, it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that I am looking after my mental health and bringing joy to myself in a new way and that ultimately helps my family.

Here the first pictures that I have done in years!

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