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Draw What You Want. Care Less About the Outside.

I once drew a gender-bent Captain America. And in that drawing I drew a "boob window".


What was an exercise in trying to get better at my craft by rendering with markers (Copics are awesome, btw - super expensive, but awesome. Sponsor me.) and tongue-in-cheek re-design of an iconic outfit, a few people called out the "sexualization" of the character. More importantly, I could read between the judgmental lines: "Really? Ugh. Yuck."


This was a while ago - way before the hypersensitivity of what we're experiencing today - but even then I was curious about that reaction. I don't disagree that it was sexualized. Clearly it was. I knew what I was doing and I didn't deny it. But still... the comment left an impression.


And for the first time, upon reflection, I noticed that my answer was simple but genuine: Because I wanted to. I wanted to draw/render with markers and draw a boob window. Looking back, It was liberating to not care about the feedback or try to navigate loaded criticism. I wanted to draw for fun. It's not to the public liking? Okay. "That's...like...sexist and misogynist?" If you say so.


I draw things and I share them because that's fun! And unless you're in the trusted circle of people I take feedback from (in either craft or conduct), I'd rather not spend any more time trying to validate the fun I'm having to randoms.


There is so much noise from the outside that it's understandable to take on unwanted outside baggage instead of addressing and working your own. Filtering out what doesn't matter and focusing on what does - rendering, composition, color theory, anatomy, et al - takes a lot of practice.


Those of you who know, will relate: Drawing is hard. But it's also fun.


Most of the time, especially if you're trying to get better, it's a rampaging juggernaut of insecurity, fail then try again (x100), creative blocks galore, etc. It can get overwhelming. But if you love drawing, you invite the difficulty in because...well...it's fun.


Do your very best to not let the outside rob you of that "joy".


Here's "Quiet" from Metal Gear. This outfit is so silly as a military operative. But it's also a video game. Enjoy.



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3 Comments


I needed this writing. Thanks.

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Michael T
Michael T
Jan 05

Well said.


If one cannot enjoy an artistic boob window every once in a while, can one ever really enjoy anything at all.

-Socrates-


Also, that outfit is quite practical and tactical in my opinion.

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Love the message here. I remember when artists produced work that was sometimes offensive or went against the grain because they wanted to express a idea they believed in or like you said just because they wanted to. As artists I think we should be encouraging creativity amongst one another and not policing each others points of view. I see work I don’t care for all the time, I just move on to something I like. Anyway, good stuff and it’s nice to hear that even the best artists struggle with the same things as everyone else that is trying to improve.

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