Grinding it out

Body sketches by LA artist Wessel  

The last couple weeks has been a flurry of sketching, I think on the order of close to 300 pages...seriously.

A lot of them are just rough scribbles, to be honest, but there’s a good number of pages of really focused work. It’s crazy when I think about it, and when I tell people they kinda give me a strange look. I mean, who would do something like that? That’s probably why my friends circle is small and tight.


Me, first of all. But, also, lots of other people do and have in the past. What I’m doing right now is what a lot of artists do when they’re a lot younger, in school with time to burn and lots of open notebook space. The doodle and scratch stage, I think I’ll call it. Up until now I think I’ve used more cool sounding words, but that’s what it is.

 Figure sketches by Los Angeles artist Wessel

It’s the grind that you gotta go through to really understand wtf is going on.

I’ve met so many people who are like, ‘I wish I could draw that good,’ and the truth is they probably could...if they put in the time. But, the older you get, the harder it becomes, mainly because of the time. You need to try the same thing over, and over, and over again until it’s imprinted on you mind and the muscles know which one to twitch to give just that right look.


This last weekend was a super-grind. I said to myself on Friday that I wanted to draw good samurai by Sunday night. Well, I can draw a pretty decent one right now...if I have a picture to go off of. But, I wanted to be able to do one out of my own head. A lofty goal for a weekend, no doubt. And, spoiler alert, I didn’t get there...or at least not to the level I really wanted. I did draw a bunch of stuff that was a good start though.

Drawing hands with artist Wessel 

I am satisfied though, with what got done.

Of course I could always have done more, done better, done something different, but, it’s best to focus on what did happen.I got a lot of basic figure work done, began to figure out how hand hold things, and definitely sketched a good number of samurai from model images. Even the random stuff out of my head seems to be getting sharper and sharper.


The hardest thing is keeping it up and believing in myself. Page after page, piece after piece, design after design, I can see things getting better bit by bit, but, it’s been a grind. There’s always the doubt, the struggle for clients, the frustration of not being able to fully express myself, or get the looks I want for the work I do. 

Samurai sketches by Los Angeles graphic artist Wessel 

That’s what you gotta do, if you have a dream.

There’s no way around it, the grind. Some people can circumvent it because they’re popular and quality doesn’t matter, or because they come from money and already have the connections, but the rest of us have to take the long road around. It’s like an ivory tower in the distance, success, recognition, happiness. Knowing though, that even when...or if we get there, that the tower is just the next step on the journey The grind never just hopefully gets a little better.

Samurai sketches by Los Angeles graphic artist Wessel 

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Be well!



Drawing samurai hats with LA artist Wessel

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