sunrise over swamps

sunset over melancholy seas

I will draw unicorns if I feel like it

on August 28, 2012


Last night I very randomly got thinking about one of those times when I was drawing in my sketchbook and an older person there took it upon themselves to tell me, in genuinely angry and derisive tones: “Why do you always draw unicorns? That must be the only thing you can draw. You should get something new to draw.”

The fact is, I should have long forgotten this incident, but I haven’t. It was intended to hurt, and it hurt, because of who said it and why they said it and the unprovoked nature of the verbal attack.

But as the incident re-entered my consciousness last night, I did have to remind myself that in the grand scheme of the complexities of mortal existence, it’s such a small issue. A non-issue, really. I draw what I draw because it makes me happy. Sometimes it even seems to make other people happy, too. I know I’m not a master artist – I sit in the realm of self-taught outsider. I draw because I love it. It’s an interest and joy, but it’s not my profession by a long-shot.

Do I have to justify drawing unicorns? No. I like them. Simple. Add to that the rich history, symbolism, myth and folklore attached to unicorns and what it means to me personally, and it’s suddenly not just a unicorn.

Can I draw other things? Yes. But if unicorns were actually the only thing I could draw, why that should bother anyone else is beyond me.

After all that, though, in the end, this isn’t about unicorns. This is about the freedom to be creative, even in little ways. To choose creative pursuits over passive forms of entertainment. To love and enter into different art forms, even in a small way.

It’s a fundamental aspect of my worldview that all humans are born with some sort of drive and ability towards creativity. To give life, to make and shape and form and build and grow and to encourage that creative spark in others, no matter how seemingly small or inconsequential it might appear to be. Every individual has something they can contribute to the world. I think we should try to find and encourage the creativity in others – that is, who they are meant to be, not what we would force them to be.

Surely that is a far greater thing than to spend a lifetime complaining that this young woman drew a unicorn one day because she didn’t want to waste a whole evening staring at the tv.


10 responses to “I will draw unicorns if I feel like it

  1. mon says:

    You draw beautiful unicorns. Something I can’t do. Keep going.

  2. I relate to this in terms of my writing. How would I feel if people told me what I should and should not write about.

    Don’t listen to the others; keep your own council!

  3. annelouisep says:

    Who said that? Tell me via text or email, if you want to.

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