Over the weekend I checked to see if my artistic skills had gotten better. It had been ages since I last drew (though it had been just months. Which when you think about it, is too long for someone who wants to get better at what can barely pass as a drawing,) and with the pent-up stress from the week I had to let go of, I brought out my sketch pad and all the other materials needed, looked for a worthy picture to draw and then set out to release my stresses and tensions.
Just as I was about to start drawing, centimetres before the pencil touched the paper, a thought crossed my mind. This was a blank canvas, and I was about creating something out of nothing. I was like a god to the blank paper, I could impose my will on it, and bend the pencils in any which way I wanted to get the right shade, tone, and contours. I smiled to myself, feeling happy that the little I knew about art made me that – a god.
Midway through the drawing, my 4-year-old nephew burst into my room telling me to please help him tie his superman cape around his neck. I dropped my pencil, did as I was told (I mean, who dares say no to superman. Right?) and then watched him fly out of my room with his cape rippling against the wind.
Another thought crossed my overthinking mind (which after 20+ years on this earth, I am still yet to figure out whether it is a blessing or a curse,) and I dwelt on it. This very blank canvas on which I am imposing my will and making it bend to my philosophies and beliefs in graphite and lead, I get to choose what part of the page should be darker than others, what part should be or not be drawn on, and if there is any part I take as a mistake, I erase it from ever existing on the paper because it has to come out exactly as I want it to.
It made me realise that that is exactly the way children are – the blank paper. While we, the adults, are the artists, pouring our own ideals and beliefs into our kids and make sure they turn out exactly how we want them to. At least the very thing we have control over which is more powerful than the physical attributes – their mind and way of thinking. From ideologies, religions, belief system.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Even we, the adults – the artists – are just blank canvases to a bigger artist – Society. And we don’t even realise it. We are all born blank, and we have ideals poured into us from adults. And it never stops till we die, because society keeps on showing her great artistic skills, and boy does she know how to draw/paint.
The funny thing is, even those who died ages ago, died leaving their own ideologies behind. Even racists and terrorists weren’t born as such (at least I’d like to think so because it will be horrifying if otherwise.), but adults, and in some cases the situations the society painted, made them into what they are.
The greatest twist of all is that we, the very adults, humanity in its entirety, make up the society. We keep painting ourselves, and most of us don’t even realise the good, or damage it causes.
Some can’t discern between what is good and evil anymore, and if your chest keeps poking you that something is wrong with your actions, you shake it off because the sect of society that you have found yourself in believes that very action is right, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed doing it. Apparently, we are the disease and the cure.
I finished thinking long before I finished drawing. Sadly, the drawing didn’t turn out the way I wanted, so I did the extreme. I ruffed up the paper and showed Stephen Curry that he’s only the best player in the NBA because I’m choosing to let him be.
P.S – Humans and society also do the extreme in many scenarios.for example, Fear And The World We Live In
Oh, and by the way, the above pictures are drawings I did way back. Maybe I’ll try drawing the discarded one again another weekend.
(Yea, Ayo, don’t bite my head off! I’ll talk about Knowledge next week😒)