Artist’s Block: An Original Story

Artist’s block. That is my problem. I don’t know what to draw. I have tried everything but nothing feels quite right. The other problem is that I need a new original piece for the annual Art Show. I got picked and my piece needs to be perfect. If it is not then I probably will never again get chosen.

I stare at the colored pencils sitting on my desk. Indigo, Antique Ruby, Amber, Auburn, Ash Gray and so many more. All sitting right there waiting for me to use them, but I don’t know what to use them for. I have no ideas that feel right for this gallery. Nothing feels right. Not just my art though. I don’t feel right without doing any art. I pick up Amber hoping that I will feel inspiration but I don’t. I just sit at my desk, holding Amber, not feeling anything inspirational.

“Sweetheart, dinner.” I hear my mom call from the kitchen. Good, I am starving. Maybe eating something will help. “I’ll be there in a minute,” I call down to mom. I really hope the food will help.

Turns out food does not help. Still nothing. This is getting to be really frustrating. I just ate delicious, cheesy food, and still, I have nothing. It just doesn’t make sense. I have tried everything I can think of. Nothing feels right for this gallery.

I sit there at my desk thinking for about an hour when I give up and head to bed. I will deal with this in the morning.

“Rise and shine sweetheart.” My dad calls into my room waking me up. I groan. I don’t want to get up. I want to stay in bed thinking about how I am going to tell my teacher that I can’t do it, two days before it opens. 

My dad must have heard me because he pokes his head into my room.  He must see how distressed I am because He shakes his head and says, “Get up. We are going for a drive.” He only does this when he knows something is wrong. 

I sigh but do it anyway. There is never any point in arguing with dad. I go to my closet and pull on something comfy and cozy. Something perfect for a cool autumn day. 

I head downstairs to see my dad waiting at the kitchen table drinking a cup of coffee. “There you are. Put your shoes on and get in the truck.” He says immediately when he sees me. I head to the front door and grab my favorite pair of boots. Knowing him he is going to take me to his work and then I will have to work. I hop into the passenger’s side of his truck and he starts it up. I love this truck. It is so full of memories. I lost my first tooth in the back seat. 

We start driving but not the way we usually go. He must not be taking me to his work. I wonder where he is taking me then. 

I soon find out when he stops at a tree-covered park. “What are we doing here?”I ask when he kills the engine. “Well, I noticed something was wrong and I thought you would appreciate this. But what is wrong? You have been staying in your room for days. Only coming out for food.” Oh, so that is what this is about. 

At that moment I feel all of my worries building up inside of me and then I burst. Tears stream down my face and I rush to get the words out. “I can’t think of what to do for the gallery. Whatever I do, nothing feels right for what they would want there. I have tried everything I can think of.” He looks at me with a tenderness in his eyes.

“What do you want?” I stop for a second. “What do you mean?” 

“What do you want to do? You said that nothing feels right for what they would want but what do you want? Don’t think about what they would want, think about what you want.”

“I don’t know what-” I stop in the middle of my sentence. “I want to draw the trees. I need to get home.” I whisper, almost to myself. Then practically shouting it, “I need to get home!” My dad laughs at my enthusiasm and starts the truck. I buckle up, a bright smile lighting up my face.

As soon as we get home I rush up to my room and start sketching the picture that I saved in my mind. I hear the scratch of my pencil on paper and it sounds like music to my ears. 

I finish my sketch in a few hours and then take out my colored pencils. I dash of Amber here and some orange there. I hear my mom call me down for dinner and it takes all my strength not to ask to bring it up here so I can work some more. Instead, I walk downstairs and hug my dad tight. He hugs back and I whisper to him, “Thank you.” He smiles and I know he heard me. 

One more sweep of my Amber pencil across the page and it is done. I set my pencil down and look at my page admiring what I have done and how I have recreated the trees in the park. 

I walk downstairs with my picture in hand and see my parents at the kitchen table. I walk in and they see me. “Did you finish it?” My mom asks. In answer, I hold up my drawing and hear my mom gasp. The smile on dad’s face just grows bigger. “It is beautiful, sweetheart.” My mom exclaims. My dad nods agreeing with mom.

I stayed awake that night, lying in bed thinking about my picture. It really was beautiful. I learned a very valuable lesson too, all thanks to my dad. He reminded me that I should create what I wanted not what other people wanted. I forgot that when I got chosen. I am really happy that he reminded me. I owe him so much. I don’t know how I could ever repay him for everything he has done for me. For now, I can do one thing to repay him. I head over to my desk, pick up my pencil and start sketching.