TwelveDrawings.com is a "Thank You" to my Higher Power
This website is not really about art. It is about Twelve Step recovery. I am not a professional artist and these drawings are not for sale. They are the result of a spiritual experience that has re-formed me.
NOTE: If you are not familiar with the Twelve Steps of recovery from alcohol, drugs, or behavior-based addictions, this website is not an introduction or explanation. If you want an introduction to Twelve Step recovery, go to the official website of a national group. Some are included in the "Other Helpful Sites" list (lower right).
If you are already in a Twelve Step program, please ignore anything you see here that does not align with the conference-approved literature in your particular program.
Drawing Attention to "Old-School" Twelve Step Words
I was born with the ability to draw. But for twenty years, my pen produced nothing more than a few nonsensical doodles. Then one day, I looked down and saw the "Serenity" drawing emerge from my pen. It was as startling as if the family dog suddenly stood on its hind legs and calmly recited Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.
At that time, I had been in recovery for perhaps a year. I was surprised when more and more drawings sprang forth—it was inexplicable. Where were they coming from and where were they going? Then I remembered that people in Twelve Step meetings commonly offer "personal shares" or short talks. I recognized that my drawings were my own form of personal share. Not special; just different.
My ink drawings are out of step with a world of colorful, high-resolution, PhotoShop images. To be honest, the reason I create old-school pen and ink drawings is because I don't know how to create anything else. The archaic style seems appropriate, since the subject is old-school Twelve Step recovery. Whether you know or care about alcohol or addiction recovery, I hope you will glance through these illustrations. Downloads are free IF they are for your PERSONAL use only.
About the Artist
This artist remains anonymous. Maybe that sounds intriguing or mysterious, but it shouldn't. In Twelve Step recovery, anonymity is the spiritual basis of all Twelve Step Traditions (see Tradition Twelve). So while my identity is not really a secret, I am remaining anonymous to please the Higher Power that got me sober.
The particular programs I belong to remain anonymous as well. Each Twelve Step group deals with a distinct "Problem", but their common "Solution" is found in its original form in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Thanks to the "Big Book Comes Alive" recordings by Joe and Charlie, that has become very clear to me. (More about Joe & Charlie here http://www.twelvedrawings.com/blog/2011-12/who-are-joe-charlie )
There are "Artist's Comments" Below Individual Illustrations
As time permits, I am adding Artist's Comments to each drawing. There is not text with every drawing yet, so you may have to poke around to discover all of them. My comments explain exactly what that image meant to me in my recovery, for whatever that is worth. If you do not wish to read the comments, I suggest you not scroll down and, instead, simply enjoy the drawings alone.
There are seven completed sets of TwelveDrawings, which are:
• Twelve Words from the Serenity Prayer - this title is self-explanatory
• Twelve Steps - one key word from each of the Steps
• Twelve Traditions - one key word from each of the Twelve Traditions
• Twelve Promises - one key word from each of the Promises
• Twelve Metaphors - metaphors (or verbal imagery) used in the Big Book of AA
• Twelve Insanities - words taken from the Big Book description of alcoholic insanity (p. 37)
• Religious or Not? - twelve words taken from the 1934 Webster Dictionary definition of "religion"
Only four of the above sets are included in the website. More may be added in the future. Some of the new drawings can be seen in my Twitter profile.
My ideas arise from prayer and meditation. Sometimes, the emerging illustrations startle me. Certain drawings (like "Courage") make my eyes brim with emotions every time I see them. My hair stands up as if God was pressing nearer to see. For that reason alone, I have continued.
I have deliberately tried to avoid using classic symbols. For example, there are no mythical or Biblical images such as an angel hovering in the air while wielding a fiery sword. I wanted each drawing to contain things I have seen in real life—or reasonably might. That was important to me, because that's how Recovery was for me: drawn from real life. So, instead of mythical figures, there is a fairly ordinary looking squirrel in the Twelve Steps "Ready" drawing. His energetic leap is a visual reminder of a leap of faith I took in Step 6: feeling exhilerated and entirely READY for whatever was coming next.
I hope you enjoy looking at the drawings. I hope they may make some small contribution to living better Today. I hope you will keep coming back.
NOTE: All of my drawings and written material are protected by ©opyrights and I take those rights seriously. You may download whatever drawings or text you want for personal use. Any other use or reuse will require specific permission, obtained in advance by writing to [email protected] . National Twelve Step Organizations welcome and will be charged nothing for the use of my art when arranged in advance. All Twelve Traditions will be maintained.