Chalking with H: Overcoming Chalk Shame

Okay, I’ll admit it, I’ve said it:

“I suck at drawing; I just can’t do it.”


Just last night I told Shiphrah, “I am a little embarrassed because my chalk drawings kind of suck.”

Sometimes it’s easier to be hard on ourselves especially when we think we are just NOT very good at something. Obviously, it isn’t very productive, but how do we stop it? Shame is such a huge part of our modern world. It is everywhere, self shaming, peer shaming, media shaming, queer shaming, slut shaming, art shaming! (And I could go on and on…) Shame and judgement our common methods in which we police each other and ourselves.

At Chalk with Me, we have been talking a lot about feelings of shame and embarrassment and inadequacy and how we often feel these emotions when we don’t know certain words and language. These emotions and fear are what sometimes inhibit us from asking for answers.

My hope is that we can create safe, welcoming spaces and environments in which shame can be left at the door, or at home, or whatever. But maybe workshops on how to deal with shame and overcome these feelings would be beneficial events for Chalk With Me to host as well. What do you think?

In my first year at UBC I took an art class as one of my electives, and I experienced so much art shaming, it made me want to put away my pencils and paints forever. It was the first and only class I almost failed! Sometimes, I think learning environments in which you are graded don’t make any sense, for many people, they produce shame, and inhibit learning.

I haven’t done much art or drawing since that class…

But because of CWM I’ve been attempting to draw with chalk every week. When I put my shame aside and just enjoy the process it’s a lot of fun. It’s even kind of therapeutic! I love getting my hands dirty and smudging all the chalk colours together. You should really try it out 🙂 And don’t worry if you don’t have any ideas of what to draw, we will give you a suggestion tomorrow for our weekly chalk challenge!


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