Life Lessons from my pencil: lesson 1

What drawing people has taught me about people

Lesson 1:

Don’t underestimate the power of a tool.


When I begin to draw a portrait I need a hard pencil,  I need to use light pressure as I am creating large foundation shapes, this is vital to a successful end product. A hard pencil actually makes soft marks that are easily erasable. If I begin with a soft, dark, lead with a lot of  pressure I will create lines that don’t erase well, I will have a lot of unwanted marks that will make my picture look messy, a face full of
scars. How often have I used a cutting word with my children and left scars when I should have used compassion and tenderness to change an outcome.The tools I use are important in creating. Tools are extensions for peoples hands. When my hands and fingers aren’t able to change an outcome, I need a tool. Tools produce change. I want to learn what the right tools are for the tasks at hand. I have never gotten far drawing a portrait with a hammer, or building a house with a violin. I’m learning that I can’t change people, but I can change outcomes with the proper tools.

Patience, kindness and truth to name a few are valuable and sometimes underestimated tools in managing relationships. I need the proper tools to succeed at building healthy enduring relationships, not power tools. and I need certain kinds of lead to accomplish certain effects when I am drawing. I want to have a tool box and fill it with tools for every occasion. I can learn to pause and ask myself:  what does this moment call for, or what do I need when interacting with this particular person in my life. What do I want to accomplish here?  Outcomes are important and to get the outcome we want sometimes we need to change the tool we are using.