I had artist’s block for more than a decade. Why, I’m not sure. In the process of studying art, I got the idea that drawing didn’t matter, and that drawing with pencil especially didn’t matter. I was tired of trying to do everything except that one thing. So I became a knitter, and I knitted very small, intricate patterns. I found the repetitious nature of knitting soothing, and much better than making nothing, but I couldn’t bring myself to call myself an artist.
My first drawing (in a long time) was of a praying mantis. I’d always drawn people, and, with their enormous eyes, long limbs, and flexible necks, mantises are similarly expressive and gestural. I was at a cave photography convention in southwest France, and my very favorite comment on my drawing was “what kind of a person would draw something like that?”