18 Things That Only Those Who Draw Understand

People who draw are part of a unique tribe, and they tend to approach the world just a little differently. There are certain things that only artists who draw will understand. Sometimes quirky, sometimes endearing, if you draw, some of these things are bound to ring true for you! 

Nobody uses your pen

Photos via CakeSpy unless otherwise noted

1. Nobody — and that means NOBODY — gets to use your pens.

Not your best friend, not your romantic partner, not even your own mother. Nobody handles them like you do, and the thought of nibs being crushed by someone else’s overzealous or over-heavy hand fills you with cold panic. 

2. It takes a village…of drawing tools.

Just one pencil, colored pencil, marker or pen won’t always do the trick. Pen and ink artists need pen nibs in various sizes and thicknesses to capture different line quality in a drawing. Artists who work in pencil will have pencils in various hardnesses to capture the right tone. Colored pencil artists need not only a spectrum of colors, but blenders too. It’s only reasonable.

3. Oops! You forgot to breathe. 

You just completed an incredibly intricate part of the drawing, only to realize that your face has turned partially blue — you were so involved in getting it right that you stopped breathing for a few minutes there! You haven’t passed out, yet, but you definitely gulp in oxygen like you’re starving after completing a particularly tricky portion of your drawing.

4. There is no heartbreak like a pen or marker dried out before its time.

Dried out pen

Cue a sad song by Adele or Celine Dion! You approach your desk for a nice, long drawing session only to realize that you didn’t properly cap your pen or marker and now it’s all dried out. It’s a sadness like no other.

5. You see red when someone puts something on top of your drawing.

Your friend/roommate/spouse comes in the room with the mail and lays an envelope or magazine right on top of your drawing. You will have none of that! They will undoubtedly be strictly and swiftly reprimanded. Nobody puts baby’s drawing under debris!

6. Your hair dryer stays by your drawing desk.

Your strands remain soggy, because your hair dryer is positioned by your drawing desk! Everyone knows that blasting a little hot air can help ink dry faster so it doesn’t smear, right? Much more important than the perfect coif.

7. You are passionate about your paper.

Paper

Some people might say “paper is paper.” Those people definitely do not draw. To those who do draw, issues of “smooth” versus “vellum” are tantamount to the “smooth” versus “crunchy” peanut butter debate, inspiring deep passions and strong opinions. To put it simply: People who draw become very attached to their chosen surface.

8. It’s not a bruise, it’s ink.

It’s a common enough occurrence to absentmindedly touch your face with your inky or graphite-coated hand, which can leave dramatic smears on your face. Nope, you weren’t just in a fist fight: you were creating art!

9. The plight of the tainted eraser.

Eraser

Perhaps your rubber eraser gets a bit of still-wet ink on it. Or perhaps your kneaded rubber eraser accidentally picked up a tiny shard of something sharp. When you go to use said eraser, it goes from drawing assistant to assailant, leaving a mark or a scrape on your piece. The struggle is real!

10. Hand moisturizer is the enemy.

Hand cream

Parched skin calls for moisturizer, right? Not when you’re working on a drawing. Putting on hand moisturizer alters the moisture of your skin, and when your hand comes in contact with paper, it can impart unwanted oil on the surface. This can alter the texture of your paper, making marks lie differently. Sorry, but you’d rather go dry until the drawing is safely finished. 

11. Different paper = different eraser needs.

You’ve got a plethora of erasers which are chosen depending on the paper and drawing media you’re using. An acrylic eraser on delicate newsprint? Never!

12. You check every nib before buying a new pen.

When buying pens in art supply stores that allow you to test the pens before buying, you evaluate every single nib to make sure which one has been least-handled and is best for you. Doesn’t everyone? 

13. There’s nothing like a brand new drawing tool.

Pen and pencil

Having a brand new drawing tool is filling your car tank with gas. But instead of cruising for miles on the open road without a worry in the world, you’re putting drawing tool to paper and going on an artistic adventure.

14. There’s a sadness to saying goodbye to a drawing tool.

Just as it’s a jubilant moment to uncap a new pen or sharpen a brand new pencil, there’s something bittersweet about finally bidding adieu to your former favorite, either because the ink has dried up or the pencil has been reduced to a nub. You may even enjoy a mental montage of all of the great artistic times you’ve had together before tossing it.

15. But really, you’d prefer a gift certificate.

While you love that someone thoughtfully bought you art supplies for your birthday, you secretly hope it comes with a gift receipt. People who draw can be very particular about their tools, and even the best-intentioned of gift givers don’t always get them quite right! 

16. A manual pencil sharpener is totally different from an electric one.

Pencils

You and your manual pencil sharpener…you’ve got a thing going on. You know exactly how to tilt your pencil to get just the right point. The idea of using an electric one that you can’t finesse into the just right tip? Sacrilege!

17. You miss drawings when they’re done.

You feel great when you finish a drawing…but there’s a little part of you that feels sad, because so much of the joy is in the process. It’s a feeling that can only be remedied by starting a new drawing!

18. The best conversations happen when you’re drawing.

If you get into a drawing groove while sitting with a friend who is engaged in their art (be it drawing or knitting or painting), the conversation is always sweeter, and you’re more willing to enjoy a chilled-out, intimate conversation while doing what you love.

Do any of these things ring true for you? Share this will all your friends who draw and compare notes on which truths resonate with you!

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