Featuring colorist Ronda Francis

Friday, August 5, 2016

Drawing vs. Writing--Which One is YOUR Thing?

As an author and artist I spend much of my day either imagining then sketching images, or thinking about a story and then writing it down before it fades into the ether.

Someone asked me recently which I prefer to do, and initially I was a bit befuddled. I've been doing both since I was a young child (like most authors and artists) and had to really think.

But I have an answer.

If I had to do ONLY one for the rest of my life, I would have to choose writing. 

My posts and pages on Facebook and my blog are filled with my art, but I get a more fulfilling buzz from words. The images are great attention getters, and I am happy to share them.

I find drawing satisfying, especially when the picture is done. I can hold a conversation while I draw, and funny enough even watch TV (something I rarely do anyway). But there is something missing.

When I write I am almost completely absorbed. Time flies, and I get the feeling I am a bit lost, which I love. I get to create worlds and people, and it feels like a special privilege. It is magic.

My stories are almost never exactly right on first draft, and I even like the rewrite part--it feels like a puzzle, and each fix feels like another reward.

I usually have ideas to go with the stories--what the people look like, the settings, and I am happy to sketch them out, but once that part is finished there is a pull, and it is usually another story clawing its way to the surface.

Creepy Carrots--I am in love with the illustrations by Peter Brown. Peter, if you are reading, boy do I have a book for you!
 It would be a wonderful thing to write a story and have a fantastic artist flesh it out and make it a thing of beauty. I recently did some sketches of one of my characters and a wonderful artist did them in digital, and I was amazed. I have every digital do-dad there is, but I can't recreate what she did.

That is not to say that I will never write a book and illustrate it myself, but from now on I will really think it over, and if my art fits, then it's off to the races, but if I think someone else could elevate my books and stories even more, then I will gratefully turn it over to another more suited talent, and anxiously wait for the stunning results.

We can't be and do everything--we have to pick OUR thing and run with it. Get better at it, then eventually get great.

This realization was freedom to me, and I have renewed energy about my work that I haven't had for some time.

Disney had it right when Elsa sang Let It Go.



  1. Well, since I can't draw, I write.

  2. I definitely prefer to draw. I used to enjoy writing a great deal, but I haven't written anything much in quite some time...

    1. I also find there are certain ways I prefer to do either--for example I love to do line work and cartoons--coloring my work? Not so much. In writing I prefer short stories and quick bits of info. I think a novel would do me in. ;)