Letter Art: SketchBox Fail

What is failure? Who decides?

Two-thirds of the way through, I am declaring failure of my SketchBox foray. While there could be a sudden reversal with the last two boxes, at this point I’m not holding my breath.

The original impetus for my six-month subscription was a thank you to a friend (waves Hi!). I signed myself up as well to give us an activity that we could enjoy together while separated geographically. It would, in some ineffable way, make me more artistic. I used the Sunday lettering posts as an excuse [P&P].

It started well.

[Pen & Pastels]

Then I began to struggle. I never got this where I wanted, but at least I achieved content.


For April, I never even got that far [Wallpapering, no photos of box or attempts].

This month’s box arrived.


Watercolor didn’t sound too bad. I’d already done one. Determined to succeed, I bought extra paper and a watercolor book with inviting and clever exercises.


I have touched none of this in weeks. I make plans. I castigate myself. I make promises. I shift the pile back and forth.

Who am I kidding? One doesn’t become artistic by osmosis any more than one learns history by falling asleep on one’s textbooks.

I don’t have to. I apparently don’t “want” to [Definitions]. Why am I making myself crazy?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

4 thoughts on “Letter Art: SketchBox Fail

  1. Art – or any craft, is something you have to have your heart in. You have so much going on in your life. Giving up on SketchBox isn’t a failure, just a recognition of what is more important to you. I have read that you have to give 10,000 hours to anything you want to excel in, and sometimes more – depending on your starting point. If your heart says horses, not art, go with it and don’t feel bad about it.

  2. iPenBox might be more for you. It’s all about the pens.

    It’s supposedly 10,000 hours to be a world’s leading expert according to Outliers. To draw, or do any art, competently takes about 160 hours according to most of the teachers I’ve heard, and it can’t be broken up lest your skills backslide. So figure that’s an hour a day every single day for six months, and then keeping up the skill regularly forever. Anyone who wants to do it, can — it’s a skill — but it is a lot of work, and if it’s not bringing you joy, it’s work to no worthy end.

    This sounds a lot more like a success than a failure. You have reinforced a willingness to try new things, and you know more than you did before. That’s awesome.

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