i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Dear World, we are artists and we will make art

make art button


This month has a theme. Make Art. In the midst of Not Shutting Up for 365 days, I will write about art and make art for the month of October. I will be linked up at thenester.com for her 31 Day Challenge to write one theme for a month. You can find my link  in the Too Awesome to Categorize category. Or you can subscribe and get each post sent directly to your e-mail if you don’t want to miss a day.

Today I start the 31 day challenge with a letter to the World. Josh Irby wrote An Open Letter To You From The Rest of The World, an inspiring and motivating challenge to live boldly.

Don’t cheat us out of your story. If you’re not living a better story, there is no one to take your place. Our puzzle will forever be without the you-shaped piece. –Josh Irby


Dear World,

I was afraid to tell you who I am.

If I tell you who I am, you may not like me, and  it is all that I have.

You have told me I should dye my hair and cut it short to hide the gray and women over the age of 40 should cut off their long hair. But, I don’t listen to you. I walk past the aisle of hair dye in the store and buy hair ties with no metal clasp to put at the end of my long braid.

You have told me how to dress and what to think. You have told me that real woman wear heels and carry handbags. But I prefer sneakers and a shoulder bag. Heels hurt my feet and I kept losing my red handbag I bought when you told me real women carry handbags.

You have told me I can’t draw and I believed you. I believed the teacher who said, “You can’t draw, Pamela,” I didn’t listen to you about my clothes and my hair and my shoes, but I swallowed the lie about art. I won’t say I am an artist.

I have hidden my sketchbooks from you. Every day I draw cartoons and paint large  canvases, but I keep them to myself. My walls are covered with my paintings, but I dont’ share them with the world. You might not like them, and it is all that I have.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
― Pablo Picasso

You lied to me world. You said there is only one to draw a bird.

The teacher said, “This is how you draw a bird,” The class was told  to copy the teachers drawing. We wanted to be loved and sought your approval so we drew the bird to look like the teachers bird, and all the birds in the class looked the same.

We stopped drawing our orange bird with green feathers and blue dots on his feet because the child next to us in kindergarten laughed because we drew something different.

And our orange birds and our red and yellow sardines with blue eyes were silenced because we wanted to fit in and be accepted.

Did your teacher say to you, “You can’t draw?”

Did you believe them?

Your teacher is wrong. You can draw.

Dear World, this month I am  going to make art. This month I am going to encourage children who were lied to by you. Children who grew up to be adults who say, “I can’t draw.”

This month we will


This month we will stop listening to the lies of the world and we will say, “I can draw. I am an artist.

Dear World, we are artists and we will make art. 



Will you make art with me this month?

Please don’t say, “I can’t draw.” You can. Lets do this together.

Would you like to join me this month? 

Please tell me in the comments, I would love to chat.

make art button

P.S. I will link up to the 31 day posts at the bottom of this post if you want to bookmark this page.

Today is day 1.

day 2:  It’s your art. Don’t worry about what people think.

day 3: Stop saying, “I can’t draw. If you eat, you can draw.

day 4: Comparison is the death of joy

day 5: Color outside of the lines + drawing homework

day 6: There are no rules in art

day 7:  I had an identity crisis today and didn’t write. Please read day 8.

day 8: There are no rules so quit trying to make them

day 9:  Risk failure and try to be Aunt Harriet

day 10:  A four hour drive to Virginia on the way to the Storyline Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  We left at 8:00 p.m. and arrived at Kathleen Caron’s at 12:30 a.m. My laptop is dead, please see day #9.

day 11: We left Virginia at 8:00 a.m. and arrived in Nashville, Tennessee at 11:15 p.m.

day 12: Day 1 of the Storyline Conference in Nashville. We heard Donald Miller, Becca Stevens, John Richmond, Shauna Niequist and Bob Goff speak.

day 13: Day 2 of the Storyline Conference in Nashville. Donald Miller, Jia Jiang, and Ryan Forsthoff spoke. Brandon Heath Al Andrews, Joshua Dubois, John Richmond, David Wenzel and Sarah Thebarge spoke at the “Breakout Sessions.”

day 14: We left Nashville at 4:00 a.m. and arrived in Virginia at 5:00 p.m. Kathleen Caron, wrote about our 15 hour trip; sometimes the journey’s worth the destination, and other things i learned at storyline

day 15: We left Virginia at 3:00 a.m. and arrived home in Pennsylvania at 7:45 a.m. How to make art that touches people. Or, How Brandon Heath made me cry

day 16: Be brave and let people see your art.

day 17: Are  your secret thoughts positive? Do you say, “I can’t draw?”

day 18: How to draw an egg

day 19: The best advice I got on how to draw: Tokyo Japan

day 20: You are an original. Try and find your own way. Find your “Authentic Swing.”

day 21: Focus on your strengths

day 22: Creating art takes courage. Make art even if no one likes it.

 day 23: Betty and Robert have been together for five years. Will he propose tonight?

day 24: Kill the dragon Resistance every morning and work on your art.

day 25: Make time in your day to create. Just say no.

day 26:

day 27, day 28, day 29, day 30, day 31. The end.






About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

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  • I’ll tell you a story, Pamela. I was the kind of artist who tried to get it perfect, and when it wasn’t I’d quit. I remember crumpling up what didn’t look “right.” And then when I was 16 I met a friend who was truly an artist. And I didn’t try again.

    • Anne,
      We are all truly artists. The danger is in comparing. I hope you will draw again.

    • Me too. Early on, I got praise for being good at art, and after that I just tried to be such a perfectionist so that adults would keep praising me, that it sucked all the joy out of it, and I gave it up.

      • Trying to be perfect does take the joy out of creating. Maybe you would find joy again Kathleen if you don’t have to worry about being perfect or pleasing others.

  • Gina Butz

    Well written! Thanks for sharing.

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  • Teresa Richardson

    I’ll draw with you. I can draw imaginary people and animals

    • Hello Teresa,
      I would love to draw with you. And I look forward to seeing your imaginary people and animals.

  • Dana Murphy

    Ugh! I really do believe I can’t draw! But I’m feeling more confident because of your post. Maybe I was lied to, too!!
    I loved your slice – a letter to the world – how creative! Thanks!

    • Dana,
      Oh dear. I think someone lied to you too. You can draw. Really you can. Before you pick up a crayon again remember your art doesn’t have to look like my art or anyone else’s.
      Be Dana.

  • Janelle

    I’m glad you chose this topic. I’ve wanted to see more of your art. Have fun this month!

  • La McCoy


  • kathunsworth

    Yay Pamela you go girl! Do not listen to anyone…just create! And the biggest gift we can pass on is to allow our children to draw the orange bird with green feathers and blue dots on his feet and make a big fuss over their art. I love your art and I would love to see more of it on your site! It helps me get to know you better. Enjoyed reading this post today and ready to go out and create something special.

    • Hello Kath,
      Thank you for your encouragement.This month I will encourage others to create. To be bold and paint how they see the world.
      The best part of creating is we don’t have to copy someone else. We can be ourselves.

  • Love it, Pamela! I think you and I must have had the same art teacher in school. 🙂
    Mine passed out manila paper (which has the texture of construction paper) and some watercolor paints. I wanted to paint a dog house and the paper soaked all that paint and my dog house looked like a big blob. That experience didn’t help me feel like a very good artist.

    One day I drew a picture of my brother and sister. Then they asked me to draw a chicken, a pig, and a giraffe. They liked my drawings. But I still didn’t draw much mostly just doodled.

    Once I met my husband he encouraged me to try again. My art is very simplistic but my husband said that everyone has their own style. Draw what makes you happy.

    I am adding your button and link to my 31 Day page right now. I’m looking forward to seeing where you go with this theme.

    • Anastacia,
      Your husband is a smart man. Yes, everyone has their own style. I wonder what yours is?
      I hope you come along for the “make art” adventure.

  • renee

    From one long haired, jean wearing woman to another . . . the world would be boring without us. To stand in your truth–either in heels, sneakers or my preference boots–takes courage and moxie. I’m so looking forward to your 31 days!

    • Thank you Renee. May we never cut off our hair or try to be someone else to be accepted.

  • Great challenge to those who lost belief in their creative abilities. It’s a good area for you to encourage others. One you are passionate about.

    • Thank you Anne. Somewhere along the way people have lost the confidence to put their art on the refrigerator.

  • Christa Sterken

    I’ll have fun playing along. Who knows what we might discover about ourselves?

    • Maybe Christa, we will discover we don’t have to have someone else like what we draw.
      Maybe we will discover we can enjoy our art without having to hear applause.

  • Terje

    From your letter and posts about writing I have the understanding that you feel strong and empowered to write and make art. I hope that you will have fun fun fun making art all month long. I’ll make art on some days. Can I draw? Not exactly, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still an enjoyable activity.

    • Hello Terje,
      .I don’t know where this month will take us, but it will be fun. Fun to learn together and share what we do.
      And by the end of the month, I hope people who use to say, “I can’t draw,” will now say, “I can draw.”