Yesterday, one of my students of my course Sketch Like The Pros asked me:
I am making mistakes. Is it my fault?”

I answered telling him a story about “The cycling boy”

Do you mind if I share it with you as well? : )

| Do you remember the first day you tried to ride a bike?

Me,  I do especially when I felt down in the bush…
Even though it was so sudden I remember it in slow motion. Haha.
You know that instantly feel – that something bad is going to happen to you but it’s already too late.
In a quarter of a second, you have that vision of yourself upside down in that bush.
(A vision that ends up being a good prediction.)

Learning how to cycle is like learning how to sketch.
Learning how to cycle is like learning how to sketch.

I am writing this article about cycling to show you that sketching is not about innate talent.
Everybody can sketch.
Along with the article, try to link with sketching.
I hope it will help you realize that you also can learn how to sketch.

When you learned how to cycle, it was overwhelming.
Some people feel scared, others feel excited. But we all have in common that we have zero experience.
So we all need to care about many things at the same time:

  • Look at the street
  • Cycle with your feet
  • Try to find a good balance
  • Hold the handlebar of the bike
  • Be prepared to break if needed
  • Make sure to do not ride too fast but fast enough to get momentum
  • Avoid obstacles and pavement curb
  • Wondering how to turn at the corner without falling or step on the ground…
  • + Worried our friends won’t laugh at us.
  • Hehe

| Of course we are not going to be perfect in one shot!

We may fall, ride zigzagging, or brake too hard… but we need to practice and get slowly familiar with all the above parameters. We will do a lot of mistakes, but remember them as good mistakes that get you closer to your goal.

You keep practicing every day, and slowly you see yourself paddling better, or mastering better the brakes depending on the obstacle you face, balance well enough to turn the corner faster… The bike, the road, the body start to synchronize. This is how our movement becomes harmonious and looks natural.

Remember that principle:

“What was difficult yesterday will become easy tomorrow!”



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  • Hi! I really like this article. It is easy to be afraid of making mistakes and being judged, so this article is very motivating for me. Thank you so much for these articles! 😀
    By the way, you wrote “Of course, we’re not going to be perect in one shot!” somewhere in the article, but do you mean “perfect”?

    • Hello “Anonymous”,
      Yes, it’s perFect instead of perect. Just rectified the misspelling. Thanks !
      My article is not perfect, but you still understand it – and you even help me to refine it. Same for sketching !

  • Hi Chou, great to see your improved site looking good! I was wondering if there’s a bulletin/forum around your site where students could hang out, work together, sketch together, post our works, learn from each other’s mistakes. That’d would be really nice for us learners. 🙂

    • Hello Joseph, Happy you like the new look of the site.
      For the space where people could exchange together, I am testing it (beta version for now). It will be a step-by-step online course – where I will give correction to the students works. They will also be able to see other people mistake and improvement as well. Keep posted ! 🙂

  • Hello! How long does it usually take for guide 3 to arrive? I received guide 2 4 days ago but not got guide 3 or 4 yet.