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(W)in Quarantine – I’m No Artist

I’m a longtime tabletop RPG player, and have long hoped it was a hobby I could share with my daughters. I met their mother playing D&D, after all, so RPGs run in the family. However, having been the kid in the family that my dad had to drag out to play ball with, and who kept falling in love with hobbies that my parents didn’t know what to do with besides threaten to take away from me when I was bad, I didn’t want to force my hobbies on my children nor treat their interests that I didn’t share as confusing or inconvenient. 

Fortunately, my older daughter, Scarlett, has shown enough interest and enthusiasm in games of imagination and stories of high adventure that I am confident she’ll give a tabletop RPG a go. Waiting until her turn, only playing one role, and not being able to just say what happens, that’s where I see her having issues. But hey, RPGs are as much a game as they are learning tools, so I am up for the challenge! 

I picked up The Excellents by 9th Level Games, a clever, rules light system with an Adventure Time/She-Ra and the Princesses of Power vibe that I can see Scarlett getting into. I thought the first adventure could draw from Lewis Carroll and have her character play as an ambassador in a war between the land of the lions and the land of the unicorns. I thought it would be fun to draw a map where the mountains and forests of the respective lands were shaped like a lion and a unicorn head. So I found an old sketch pad and drew this. 

And then… nothing. I looked up instructions for drawing maps, but this is a skill that has eluded me for years. Drawing is an activity that for my whole life I have enjoyed but suddenly hit a wall where my lack of direction, vision, and training spike, leading to disappointment, leading to quitting. 

Now is finally the time I hope to get over this. There’s a lot of talk about learning skills while we’re in quarantine, about how there’s time now (steps on glasses, noo!!!). I’ve seen some snarky memes about how people not taking the time are lazy or unmotivated. I know I don’t have time to take up a new hobby unless it’s at the expense of time with my family or work, but drawing is something I can do while parenting, and that I can use for work. I started with my zucchini brownies blog post, creating a jawa banner. I forgot advice I got from Lar one year when I participated in Inktober: 

“please consider blank paper vs lined. That’s not even a pro tip just like a minimal effort” -Lar DeSouza

The jawa was impulse drawn. Going forward, starting with the above my hand drawn banners will be drawn on blank paper. Thanks for the tip, Lar!