I decided to start the #TheRealArtOfRunning section in this blog just to see how my first love – drawing – might jive with my running exploits. The pun is intended; a literal twist on a familiar cliche. Rather too many resources are cropping up toting their contents as “The Art of [Insert Subject-Matter of Interest]”, so I thought, why not do some real art about running and see what comes out of it?
Sunday night isn’t quite the best time of the week for motivations to doodle, but I had to get something going; it was now or never. I surfed social media, not for inspiration but just to let a wash of random information clear my head.
A friend visiting Edinburgh had posted a photo of the cafe where J. K. Rowling penned the Harry Potter series.
The coat of arms of Hogwarts suddenly materialised in my mind. If a runner would have a coat of arms, what might its motto be?
Images posted on runners’ groups exhorting motivation scrolled past me. No, I wasn’t going to borrow someone else’s words. What goes through my mind when I run?
I pictured myself on an endless uphill halfway through a half-marathon course, the end still not in sight. My protesting legs feel heavy, but I know, from having done it once, that if I switched gaits to a walk I would regret it. Don’t walk, don’t stop running.
Don’t stop running.
I drew a ribbon and inscribed “Whatever happens, don’t stop running!” onto it. I added my newly-hatched hashtag at the end. Awesome.
My coat of arms needed something in the centre. Then I realised I can’t draw running shoes for nuts. I wasted at least three sheets of A4.
I finally got the proportions of a generic running shoe roughly representative of the real thing, and proceeded to add a bird’s outspread wing to its heel. Just for the fun of it. Don’t we all wish we have wings on our shoes?
What else would a runner have on her personal insignia? Why, other running gear, of course! I went through my checklist of running things. Shoe(s), check. My mp3 player was next. Sunglasses – you never know when you need them. Cap, mostly to keep hair and sweat from sticking to my face. I run with a water bottle in hand. And finally, well, I don’t run with it, but hey, an anti-chafing stick can be a lifesaver. Lifesavers certainly deserve a place on my badge of honour. Oh, speaking of lifesavers – of course, the ID band.
I sketched the outlines.
I thought it might be a neat trick to draw a finish line across the lenses of the sunglasses.
I experimented with a bunch of lines, dots and details here and there.
The clock struck midnight and I figured, ok, this is good enough for a first drawing, after at least 10 years of having left pen and paper at the back of the bottom drawer.
Graphics applications and Ctrl-Z have been great inventions, but pens and blank paper, I have missed you!