All I Know About Art I Learned From DrawSomething

I am no artist, especially not on an iPhone with my fat finger as the artistic implement, but being creative is fun.

At the request of my husband, I downloaded the DrawSomething app, which is kind of like Pictionary for your phone. You’re given a choice of words to draw, each with different possible points to accumulate based on the potential difficulty of the word. For the record, I did not want to download this app because I’ve been banned from playing Pictionary with my family. They believe I become too competitive and then belligerent. Truth is, my mom and I would always end up as partners while my sisters would be partners. My mother is an artistic soul and while she was busy creating a work of art, my sister Julie would get three lines into a stick figure horse, my sister Kathy would guess the clue, and my mother and I would go down in a ball of flames. I hate to lose. I do. But losing to three lines of a stick figure horse while my mother sketches the outline of her equine masterpiece was more than I could bear. Lesson #1: The truly artistic should never play timed drawing games with people who like to win. They should play DrawSomething instead.

Although my spouse (the one who begged me to download the app so we could play) never plays with me, other friends have started games with me and gotten me addicted. Now, I have friends who are infinitely more gifted than I am with artistic skills. Some of them create miniature works of art on their phone or iPad and make it easy for me to guess the answer. Other friends are a bit more like me, and I have to employ my creative mind to guess what in the holy hell they just drew. I suppose the thing that keeps me going when a friend draws a Scotty dog that looks like it’s a black unicorn wearing a ugly sweater is that this is a cooperative game, not a competitive one. I don’t want my friend to think that her drawing was indecipherable, so I work hard to envision her thought process. Sometimes, it’s not easy. Lesson #2: Sometimes art truly is in the eyes of the beholder.

It’s interesting to see the different ways unique individuals try to bring a clue to life. What works for one person in a guessing game does not always work for the next person. One person might choose the term “blizzard” and try to convey a snowstorm. Another person might choose a Dairy Queen treat to convey that same idea. You never know what the person guessing your clue might have in their mental arsenal to help them solve your drawing. You just do the best you can with what you have and leave the rest to interpretation. And in the end, you hope the friend you’re playing with doesn’t start to wonder about you too much when the word you choose to draw is “poop” because you know exactly how to depict an appropriate, steaming pile of doggie do. Lesson #3: Art is subjective. Sometimes a person’s best work of art might be a representation of canine feces, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Some of us are Rembrandts and some of us are Picassos. We can’t all create a flawless work of artistic realism. Some of us look at things a bit differently and put our eyeballs in the wrong spot. I’m glad hubby begged me to download that silly app. It has reminded me how fun it is to draw like I did when I was a kid. Getting back to my inner child has been a trip. I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve saved some of my iPhone artistic creations because I was so proud of them. Now, I just need to figure out how to put them on a virtual fridge using virtual magnets.

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