Is o.k. to be boring?

What would it be like to answer at a party when asked by someone, “What do you do?”

I’d probably say, “I’m an artist” and only talk about 1% of my day.

But it’s my favorite 1%.


People often ask me, “How did you get into art?” The answer:  I’ve searched for it. Whenever I felt boring or bored, I looked for art.

Once my aunt was babysitting my brother and I while my parents traveled overseas. My cousins were in school, but we weren’t staying more than a week, so my aunt just kept us with her. She had a toll painting class, and reluctant to miss a lesson, she took us to the community college and indicated a giant glass-walled atrium where we could play while the class commenced in a connected room. My brother quickly found his way outside for entertainment, but being a rule-follower, I obediently stayed indoors.

There wasn’t much to do for an hour and a half in a giant, empty glass room, so I kept sneaking into the art room. My aunt was taking orange, yellow, brown and red paint on a single brush, and with a gentle twist, making Indian corn kernels magically appear. I asked to try it, which got me noticed and sent back to the atrium. But I kept coming back…

I love the act of making something “magically appear”. It’s never boring.

I do fear boredom. Just look in my backpack when I board a plane. I’ll have enough books, projects, electronic screens, yarn and paint supplies to entertain every passenger. I’ve even left behind shoes and clothes just to have room for “one more activity”.

Desperate to lighten my backpack, I’ve turned to sketching as a less burdensome antidote for boredom. I keep a pencil or pen handy always, and I leave behind sketches everywhere—on diner napkins, the backs of envelopes, in the margins of waiting room magazines. It’s also a terrific way to meet people. You don’t have to be expert at sketching to have fun doing it. This is on-the-job-training.

So eliminate boredom! Stick a pencil in your purse, backpack or pocket. Sketch something, then post a snap of what you drew in the comments below. I want to see!