Blog, Body Love, Guest Blog

How Drawing My Nudes Made Me Love My Body

I don’t know how to start this one. It’s a bit…out there but here goes. Drawing myself nude has helped me love my body. Damn, I just ripped that band-aid off without any hesitation. But now that it’s out and about, let me talk about it. A few weeks back, there was a trend of girls painting their nudes – well I say nudes but the bits and pieces were hidden with either underwear, angles, or arms. When I saw this trend, it piqued my interest. So, one morning I decided to snap some pictures of me in the complete nude on the iPad, throw the pictures into my drawing apps (yeah plural), and draw over them. I drew every single line, bump, and groove. It didn’t feel great those first few lines as I zoomed in to get the details, but when I had the line art down and could delete the original picture, suddenly it wasn’t the body I saw and hated in the mirror. Suddenly it became art. I became a beautiful art piece and this realization brought in a new sense of comfortableness in my body. That weekend, I wore a crop top with a pair of highrise pants. It showed off my curves and a bit of my tummy. I didn’t feel self-conscious for even one millisecond. I was comfortable in my own body. I remembered how beautiful my body had become with that piece of art and since then, I’ve been carrying it around with me. When those low moments hit now, I sit down and draw my nudes. Sometimes, I go back to that first line art and add to it. I would color it in, I would draw little designs around it and etc. I’ve just been having fun with it as the more I look at it, and the more I work on it, the more I love it and in turn love my body. Now, if I see a less than flattering angle of myself, I want to snap a picture of it so I can turn it into art.

It seems strange that this is what it took. It’s not as if I’m walking away with a sudden burst of high self-esteem and ready to strut my stuff in skin-tight dresses on in a bikini, but I’ve taken a step in a wonderful direction. I really wish I can come on here and share that first piece that changed everything on there, but well it’s my actual naked body and the internet is forever. So instead, I’m going to draw the curves of my beautiful first fur baby so you can get a bit of an idea what I’m talking about.

~*~

I walked into this thinking, why don’t I just whip out something nice and quick. It took me 8 hours. So, guess who is no longer feeling guilty about this short blog. Here is the final piece. I made some mistakes along the way but this came out so pretty in the end if I have to say so myself.

Speculoos by Cassandra Meaker

And as this is something that took me the entire day, I’m going to walk you through the steps.

I start by inserting the picture I’m working off on as a new layer. In a new layer, I make a rough sketch and just get all my lines in. Once I have that, I will make a new layer of the line art you see in the final piece. This takes quite a while as I go back and forth to make sure I get all the lines I might have missed with the first pass through. The shadows are always the most difficult part when it comes to this, with Speculoos and my nudes. I honestly just go with what I want as I know I’m doing this for myself and the only person I need to please is me, myself, and I.

Once I have the line art down, I check if it’s ay okay and then I start the decorating part. I’ve experimented with this part and always do something else. The decorating part is always in its own layer and in hindsight, I should’ve separated the base color and lines with this piece. As every line was a once over and couldn’t be erased or fixed. Which means much to my displeasure, there is one line that I probably drew when I was zooming in and out by mistake. It’s impossible for me to clean this up so see if you can spot it. It’s all I can see. My brain can be such an asshole at times. That’s pretty much it. It’s quite a simple thing. I really enjoy drawing in this style and will probably slowly draw the other three furbabies. I’m so happy that I’m going back to the artist side of me and just having fun with it without any pressure. I draw what makes me happy. I’m not here to please anyone with my art. I’m doing it for myself.

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Originally this blog was going to end here, but then I was able to help my best friend by drawing her nude, well she had her underwear on but finer details, and this is what she had to say about the experience.

So, I’ve never really been satisfied with my body, though I am sure that many people are extremely familiar with this feeling. I know that most of us struggle with our bodies, whether it be our stomach rolls, stretch marks, how white or straight our teeth are, or even how tall or short we are. The list of insecurities goes on and on. To me, it has always seemed like the world around me was able to find something I should be ashamed of. But you have to be skinny! You have to have clear skin. No wrinkles. No cellulite. Here, buy this cream, it’ll help. Go for this surgery, you’ll be perfect. Use this make-up, cover up all those imperfections. And, I’ll be honest, I have fallen for it more times than I can count. There was a time in my life when I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror, besides not even being overweight, I felt like the ugliest person alive. I have come a long way since then, but I still have my moments of absolute self-loathing. Where I look down at my stomach and think “gross, that’s disgusting.” My crooked teeth and pointy nose seem to laugh at me whenever I try to take photos sometimes. I feel like crying whenever someone points them out, whether they are trying to mean or not.

A few weeks ago my best friend in the entire world told me she had followed the trend of drawing her own nudes. She told me that she felt absolutely wonderful about it and that it had helped her feel better about her body. She said she could look at the picture and know that her body is a piece of art. I wanted to feel like that too, I wanted to wake up without feeling disgusted at myself. So, after a few days of trying to talk myself into it. I finally asked her if she could do mine as well, seeing that I have zero artistic talent when it comes to drawing. She immediately agreed, becoming more and more excited as we talked about it. So, after work, I went home, got undressed, and set up my phone. And boy did I feel stupid. That little voice in the back of my mind told me how dumb I must look, how bad the photos were. How bad this was going to make me feel. I swallowed it all down, tried laughing at myself when I could, tried focusing on how cold was getting. Before I knew it, the photos were taken and I sent it through before I could talk myself out of it.

Unsurprisingly my friend was beyond supportive and excited to get started and within only a few hours she sent the first one through. I cried. Here was my body. My imperfect, mostly disliked body. And I absolutely loved it. She even used the colors of the pansexual pride flag. My heart nearly exploded with joy. I looked at the picture over and over again, trying to remind myself that it was me. That my body was turned into a work of art. I’m not going to lie and say it took away all those insecurities, but it did show me that, though my body isn’t perfect, it is still beautiful. I am still beautiful. We are all pieces of art, we were given blank canvases and we made artworks out of them. So, if you ever thought about doing something like this, I would say go for it! Don’t hesitate, don’t allow that little voice in your head to talk you out of it. Because you are beautiful and you deserve to know that.

It warms up my heart to read through her experience again. Here we both are, with very different bodies but both stuck in this ugly loop of feeling less of. We both looked in the mirror and saw something disgusting and this artwork helped change that mindset. I’m so grateful that my friend felt comfortable enough to trust me with this piece and I’m so incredibly happy it had the same impact on her. She’s right you know. We are all beautiful and each and every single one of us deserves to know and feel that.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

End Note

PS Now that I’m an artist, who wants to commission a piece? lol No jokes, if there is any interest in this let me know?

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