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Continuing with tips for drawing, here’s another thing that I struggled with, and maybe you do too. I hated “wasting” materials. Looking back, it sounds crazy. I would literally feel anxious about “wasting” a page of my sketchbook with a bad drawing. My precious, precious sketchbook! Some teachers said to just draw over top of other drawings if I didn’t have room. I shuddered at the thought. “COVER the drawing I just did?! RUIN the drawing I’m trying to do now?!”

They were at a different place than I was. I didn’t want to sacrifice all my hard work for “the process” and that was a big barrier for me. I wanted every drawing to be a masterpiece, and every page to hold only the best work I’d ever done.

The truth, honest to goodness, is that you are not wasting anything. You are improving, and with that comes some sort of cost. If you’re hungry, you might go buy a sandwich. You have to hand over money in order to not be hungry anymore. Is that money “wasted?” Good heavens no! It is for a PURPOSE that you give up that money. Transfer this to drawing: To improve, you need to “spend” time, paper, and graphite. What you get is not temporary lack of hunger, but real, tangible skills that you have FOREVER! Think of how awesome it would be if every time you ate a sandwich you were less hungry for the rest of your life. That is how drawing is. As you improve, you improve for good. Not just until dinner time, but forever going forward.

If you don’t want to draw over a previous drawing, then don’t. That’s an option, and a good one. Be aware, though, that you will have to change your perspective on using paper like I did. Instead of feeling the pages of your sketchbook are being wasted, realize that each page is bringing you closer to your (perhaps new found) goals of getting better. That’s not a waste any more than buying a sandwich is! It’s okay to fill up a whole sketchbook with not-so-great drawings. In fact, you SHOULD fill up sketchbooks. That’s how to get better after all.

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