I’ll start this reflection with the finished drawing.

At first, I was somewhat disturbed by this drawing. It didn’t look pretty to my eye. It seemed to be uglier than the first one. Was I taking a step back?

I then realized that this is working out just right. This drawing was more raw, more substantial, darker, in a way, a bit intimidating and scary. Considering my subject, I felt that perhaps this visual direction is an acknowledgment of the heaviness and violent nature of anger. This drawing was “angrier,” so in a way, I felt like I’m getting deeper, closer to the center of this emotion.

I created this drawing a bit differently than the first one. However, it followed the sequence defined in NG’s Base Algorithm, as do all NG drawings. The difference is usually in what starts each picture. Instead of throwing out a “catharsis” onto the paper, I began with figures or shapes that represented different parts of my mind. I drew irregular-shaped areas, as they felt right, to represent memory, thinking, emotions, happiness, and insights. It may have seen as an odd assortment, but it felt right, and NG stresses that you are to follow your intuition. The idea behind this exercise is improving communication between things. Instead of parts of the mind, you could put different people, departments, etc. – anything where you wanted to improve the connection. In my case, I wanted to improve the communication inside my head. I felt that if different parts of the brain communicated better, there would be less frustration and anger.

Because of the complexity of the components, this drawing started as a somewhat convoluted creation. Although it seemed daunting to try to attempt to unify all the elements and make them look beautiful, I jumped into the task. Smoothing and connecting each area of the mind and beautifying them all into one cohesive drawing represented what I was hoping to accomplish inside my head. I wanted more cohesion and unity, better flow.

Drawing this picture and making it look cohesive and pretty was undoubtedly challenging. Throughout the process, frustration and some anger were arising; I could feel the tension in my body as I put in layer after layer of marker onto paper. I tried hard to make it work and realized that I am trying too hard. I backed off and enjoyed the process instead of attacking the page.

In the end, I felt that even though this drawing may not be as “beautiful” as others, it had its place. It was important because it reached deep into my brain, and by pulling out the anger onto the paper, it allowed this emotion to connect with the other parts of the mind. I had a realization that everything functions together and that anger is never separate from the rest of the mind’s functioning. It was a powerful reminder to pay attention to everything taking place inside my head and body. As anger arose, I scanned the whole body instead of narrowly focusing just on the singular pain source. It proved to be very helpful in managing the seemingly uncontrollable outbursts of anger.

On to the next drawing.