I was going through a box of junk in my closet earlier tonight in search of something completely unrelated (Chinese therapy balls–don’t ask) when I discovered a thick stack of drawings that I apparently did in middle school, because they’re dated circa 1993 – 1994. I would have been in 7th and 8th grade.

Check out the handiwork on my cross-eyed Chun Li:

Nerdy Middle School Drawings

Pure skill.

The funny thing is, I’m not sure I could draw any better if I tried today. With the exception of a poster-size George Harrison portrait I once drew for my boyfriend in in the early ’00s, I haven’t put pencil to paper since high school art class, where pretty much all I did was dick around and take stealth naps.

Anyway, here’s the rest of the drawings I found:

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Looking at these drawings at age 30 is like opening a time capsule of my past nerdy interests: X-Men, Sega games, Animaniacs, Disney, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… Oh wait, I still like all that stuff. But it’s funny to examine them through the lens of my twelve year old self. For example, I must have thought Psylocke was one of the coolest X-Men because I drew her three times. I must have also been really obsessed with the Sega CD game Vay at the time.

Nowadays most of my art is done on a computer screen, but there was a time when I would spend hours on end sight-drawing random subjects from whatever nerd paraphernalia I had laying around–game manuals, comic books, trading cards, Sega Visions magazine…

I would put on music (probably Ace of Base, lol) and just go to town until my hands went numb and eraser shavings covered my lap. I remember insisting my mom buy me those nice black Pilot ink pens which I used to painstakingly trace over my pencil lines. Also: I’m not very skilled at coloring with markers.

Sometimes I think about getting back into the habit of drawing regularly–I have several half-ass sketchbooks that were started with the best intentions–but the problem is that I tend to think of a zillion other more productive things I could be doing with my time and the novelty wears off right quick.

Maybe I should just start drawing Ninja Turtles every day.