Drawing with Ink is Like Life

Jul 16, 2022 at 02:22 pm by Barbara Din

Drawing with Ink is Like Life

How drawing with ink serves as an analogy for navigating through life


I’ve always wanted to make a tutorial or a course on how to draw directly with ink without panicking and how to overcome the problems that will inevitably arise when you can’t erase or undo. Someday I will.

But today I was drawing with a pen, and while I was commenting in my head what I was doing, as if I was explaining it to someone else, I realized something much more significant. What I was saying in my head was pretty much an analogy for how to deal with certain things in life.


It goes something like this:

You start with an idea and delineate it. Sometimes you don’t even have an idea and go about it randomly, not really expecting something in particular.

You take a look at what went down and see where things should be corrected. Retrace those lines that could be a bit tidier. When you find one that feels out of place, since you can’t undo it, you make it part of the design. Now, with that new design in mind, you make new marks so that everything fits together and make sense.

When you mess up one of those new marks, you rethink the design all over again. And make new marks. And again, and again. Be careful, though: if you go over the same line too many times, you risk breaking the paper underneath.

If the paper ends up teared, you throw everything away and start over.


Sometimes you’ll find a mark you left unfinished. Maybe you lost interest along the way, maybe you forgot about it. In any case, evaluate how it now goes with the whole drawing and if it deserves your attention or not.


Be patient and don’t rush. You may have an amazing drawing, almost finished to perfection, and ruin it all with a bad move. If it happens, take it as a part of life and don’t despair. Take what you’ve learned with you and make it count when starting anew.


Most important of all, I think, is to just enjoy the ride.



Barbara Din is a visual artist, graphic designer, painter, interior designer, crafter, musician and writer living in Argentina.



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