Pavinee Sripaisal – aka MerryDay – from Bangkok draws colorful and cheerful illustrations every day. As our guest blogger this month, she tells Flow about her work and life in Thailand.
I started my ‘365 days I draw’ project in December 2011, meaning to draw on a topic everyday for a year. The idea was inspired by one of the artists I was following, Stephanie Fizer Coleman. She was doing her own everyday doodle project and kindly let me play along with her prompts. Each day I drew a drawing based on a word received from Stephanie and posted on my Facebook Page. It was a good creative thinking practice, fun and challenging. However, it was also difficult to draw on topics and to complete even a doodle on tiring days. After I reached 100 drawings, I began to feel stuck and could not think up new ideas. Feeling stressed and uncomfortable, I decided to stop the project at drawing no. 143.
But it was still on my mind. I missed the feeling of happiness and fulfillment after finishing a drawing, even only a line doodle, each day. Months later, I picked up a pen again just to draw myself away from the feeling of anxiety and insecurity I was suffering at the time. The few minutes of drawing brought me calmness and self-confidence. I suddenly realized that my happiness was in my hand that drew the lines. So, I started the everyday drawing project again. This time I simply called it ‘draw everyday’ with no topics, no time frame, no stress, no worries. I simply drew.
Strangely enough, when I didn’t focus on good result, the universe just brought it to me. I enjoyed drawing and tried to stretch myself from familiar pencil and markers to watercolor paints, from small paper pads to a large sketchbook. I tried not to skip a day, only when I felt really tired. After two months of drawing everyday, it became a habit and I didn’t feel forced or stressed. It was like a daily ritual, to draw something before bedtime.
As I said in the previous post, this ‘draw everyday’ habit changes my life in many ways. The few minutes of calmness expand to several hours of constant focus on my work. I learn not to be perfect (you cannot be perfect in 30-minute drawing), to let go of unnecessary details and keep on moving. I discover the joy of watercolor painting and find that my art looks more refreshing and merrier with everyday practice.
Drawing everyday and watercolor painting became my art therapy. I feel less anxious, more confident and more secured. Self-confidence then brings me courage and courage brings me opportunities, which I will tell you next week, about what I thought I could never do: my very first workshop.