Embracing Your Second Grade Self

The last thing I expected when I started the Doodle Arts and Lettering class was for it to remind me of lessons I learned from the book Walking in This World by Julia Cameron. Lessons like the importance of staying in touch with your inner child.

It’s odd that as we “grow up” we lose the confidence and hope we had as children. Too often it’s replaced by fear of failure and self limitation. We forget to celebrate the little things and dwell over the mistakes we make for far too long. Many of us compare ourselves to others and let self-doubt hold us back from creating.

If we’re aware of it, it is possible to tap into the spirit we had as children and believe in ourselves and what we have to offer the world.

I have to admit that I wasn’t looking forward to the second lesson and drawing a whimsical dress to represent a second grade girl. My drawing style isn’t whimsical or cute and I was tempted to skip it. As it turns out, I’m glad I didn’t.

I was hooked as soon as the instructor explained the reason she wanted us to draw a symbol of a second grade girl. In second grade is that we had no fears or limitations, we just had some skills believed anything was possible. “Embrace your second grade self.” What an interesting idea not only in art, but in life.  The assignment might be to draw a whimsical dress, but the lesson is something completely different.

The first step was to create an entry with the phrase “I embrace my second grade art girl,” written in it.

I’m not sure why, but I knew that it would take me more than one attempt to complete this part of the lesson. Not because I was trying to be perfect, but there were three versions of the drawing inside of me.

Version 1:

embracing my second grade art girl_take one

Version 2:

I embrace my second grade art girl_version 2

Version 3 – in progress:

embracing my second grade art girl version 3_1

I painted the background blue and green for version 3. The purple background is for the next part of the lesson which is to complete the entire phrase.

“I embrace my second grade art girl—I know she’s in there somewhere—She’s the most Free Spirited I ever was in my Whole Life—She has skills—She is Playful, Fearless, Curious, Excited and Free — I am Her.”

A friend of mine always says that what I draw symbolizes something inside of me and I think that may be true. The past several months have had their challenges and it’s been difficult to remember to take time to look at life through childlike eyes.

The Doodle Arts lesson has been a good reminder that each step of the way I am gaining more confidence in myself and my future is bright. I’m now looking forward to drawing the dress. I don’t know how “whimsical” it will be, but I know it will be mine and I will embrace the symbol of my second grade self.

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