Drawing for fun

I’m reading Bakuman again.

It’s a manga about two kids and how they reach their dream of becoming professional manga artists (mangakas). It’s very inspiring and often very meta. The story and art are phenomenal; it’s one of my all-time favorites.

In the current arc, both kids are running on empty. Mashiro, the artist, accepts a temporal job as their rival’s assistant, with the goal of breaking the rut and find a solid idea for their next manga. He finds it by being reminded how much fun he had when he was a child, drawing nonstop and imagining story concepts and characters.

I paused reading and reminisced on my own childhood and how I also drew a lot and enjoyed it. I drew armies, cartoon and video game characters, spaceships, robots and martial artists. I once drew a complete comic, full color, with a cover, something close to 30 pages.

In other ocassions I played by drawing. No panels, just characters and fighter jets flying all over the page, raw action in real time, with no care of layout, fast, loose and incomplete — just enough lines to suggest the missile lock in the HUD or have the character talk (no written dialogue, I made all the voices!). It was a complete mess and chaos, but immensely fun.

I’m trying to tap into that childhood playfulness and boldness I’ve since lost. While pondering on this, I remembered my frustration wanting so badly to draw The Real Ghostbusters’ Slimer and failing no matter how many times I tried.

It took a bunch of decades, but I finally can.

Artflow again

Last week I had tummy ache in the night and couldn’t sleep. While trying to cope with it, I doodled something on Artflow, an Android drawing app. I haven’t used the app for months. Strangely, I found it very easy to draw now. The problem I had with all art programs on the smartphone is the imprecision, the fact that I want to draw from here to here and the strokes goes somewhere else. But not now. What changed?

Somehow I’m now better at drawing. I got out the old stylus Thalía gifted me, had to dig it out of a drawer, but then it was enjoyable to draw.

I’m amazed. Really, what changed? It was always something imprecise and frustrating. It’s not like I’ve been using it for a week and hey, now I improved. So strange.

I’d like to pick up Colors! someday. I want to remember how the experience was. I drew a lot on that program on my old Nintendo DS Lite, a device made for gaming, not for artistic precision. And yet, there’s drawings and paintings I made that I’m proud of.