Doing maths is a "feel-good" thing for my son. For me, the "feel-good" thing is drawing.
Like most children I was drawing before writing. All normal. I just kept on doing it through all stages. It was like my fingers were itching to do it. It wasn't about achieving anything, it just felt calming, made me feel good.
That feel-good thing should have led me straight to a suitable education. It nearly did. But because it was too strongly assumed that I would choose art, I had to revolt and started training to become a nutritional dietitian.
To get there I had to study maths and loads of "feel-not-so-good stuff". In order to survive I took to "comfort-drawing". That blocked all learning - so I dropped out.
Through several detours - all involving drawing - I got myself back on track and studied art and design after all.
In art school everyone was drawing and everything was drawn. Four and a half years of drawing more than writing makes you pretty unsought for by most employers...
Eventually I majored in printed fabrics and ventured into textile-design; my chosen career path. I ended up engaged in interior-design as well as industrial design. Now I was drawing interiors and patterns - human surroundings empty of people. To compensate I kept up diary-sketching. The sketches were always of people.
I collected faces and features - my impressions of expressions.
It took me three kids and quite a while to find time for my own work. Having three kids was an alibi good enough to stop taking on design projects. Alas, I stopped drawing for some time too.
About ten years ago I decided to pursue my former intentions; to use portraits based on photographic silkscreen printing in combination with my hand-printed fabrics - tools and images I was well familiar with.
However, I needed to know that I would be able to actually recapture someone without a photo at hand. Otherwise it felt like cheating. Hence the drawing and painting exercises.
I started by painting portraits from live models. I felt really rusty, but had to make sure I could master portraits if I wanted to. It was difficult. In order to warm up before painting I did quick sketches in charcoal - that felt good.
Now, drawing live models turned out to be fascinating and rewarding, and finally my portrait-painting picked up. So I've kept on doing this for quite a while. In fact it took me a long time to get back to experimenting with digital photos, printing and transfers.
I still paint some portraits, and drawing I do all the time. It frustrated me (and still does) that I can't paint the way I draw. I'm constantly looking for ways to get there....