“From the age of six I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was fifty I had published a universe of designs, but all I have done before the the age of seventy is not worth bothering with. At seventy five I’ll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am eighty you will see real progress. At ninety I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At a hundred I shall be a marvelous artist. At a hundred and ten everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokosai, but today I sign myself ‘The Old Man Mad About Drawing.”
Hokusai, The Drawings of Hokusai
I love this quote! Hokusai didn’t make it to 110, but he did live a good long life and his art is legendary. With the Olympics going on in Rio right now, we are inspired by the effort and determination of the world’s best athletes. Great artists have worked equally hard. Those who excel do so because they dedicate hours, months, years to their craft. I find this motivating when I struggle to achieve the results I’m striving for.
To be sure drawing is a skill that takes a lifetime to perfect. Yet the wonderful thing about drawing is that you don’t have to be a Hokusai or a Rembrandt to enjoy it. Simply putting pencil or pen to paper is a joy that everyone can experience.