I began drawing at the age of 6 because my big sister was taking art classes, and I wanted to do it too. It's as good a reason as any to begin your passion.
One class turned into 9 years at the Georgia Chantilles-Ruby school of art, spending my Saturdays exploring materials and skills that most teachers never trusted to children. We tried painting, charcoal, chalk pastels, batik, plaster of paris sculpture, silk painting, bas relief, and even stone carving, learning the underlying skills of close observation and color theory. I was hooked. At those classes I was given an incredible gift: a combination of confidence and fun in my work, which I try to impart to my drawing students now.
I continued with pre-college courses at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and majored in painting at Trinity College, where I became interested in portraiture. I was lucky enough to keep exploring with a kiln-glass workshop in Barcelona, and study in Tuscany with the University of Georgia for a semester. And while I never chose to make art my profession, I have continued my love affair with it at the Brooklyn Art Space, an amazing community of artists sharing a studio and gallery space in the Gowanus neighborhood.
If you are interested in trying out drawing, let me first say: do it. Do it badly. Who cares? Mess it all up, and then do it again, and be amazed at how much you learned from the first time. But most of all, enjoy it.
Drawing is a skill, however, not a talent; no one expects to read music without being taught, so find a class and learn some tricks. In Brooklyn I teach Drawing 101, an introduction to charcoal and basic drawing skills. I am always bowed over by the people who attend, who have told themselves for years that they are 'no good at art' and 'can't draw a straight line' and then suddenly, one day, wake up and give themselves permission to try it out again. That's brave.
The bottom line is: art should be fun. Its outcome can be serious or heartbreaking or beautiful or disturbing or silly or profound, but its creation should bring joy.