I feel like I’m ok at drawing, not fantastic, but ok. If I put my mind to drawing something it usually looks somewhat like what I’m trying to draw. There’s definitely room for improvement though and creative exercises are one way to flex your creativity and push through your own boundaries.
Continuous line drawings are where you draw your subject without taking your pencil off the paper. No re-dos, no erasing anything because it doesn’t look right, no starting over.
It’s intimidating at first, the drawings aren’t turning out quite how you imagine them. Then something happens, you stop worrying about your drawings looking perfect and you start trying to figure out how to move the pencil in ways that will allow you to create different shapes, shading and contours. Inspired anti-perfectionism.
Blind continuous contour line drawing is a hardcore inhibition buster. According to schnick-winky-face Wikipedia:
Blind contour drawing is a drawing exercise, where an artist draws the contour of a subject without looking at the paper
…in this case, continuously without lifting the pencil off the surface.
Obviously, we aren’t attempting masterpieces here, and the results are somewhat hilarious. Surely it’s to be expected when you’re sketching something in one line without looking.
Still, there’s no point being overly fussy about how to fill blank pages. Careless activities like these strip away petty inhibitions.
They chip away at creative block and awaken the creative mind. They surprise us because we witness a natural artist emerge.
It feels weird at first, but then kind of exciting, and really funny. These odd drawings help us stop taking ourselves so seriously and stop being so self-critical – essential inspiration.
On a trip to Melbourne last week, Mum found this beautiful handmade journal and brought it home for me.
Wrapped neatly in a brown paper bag, I grinned as I held the fresh journal in my hands. I was totally surprised, even though beautiful notebooks and journals are a traditional gift from her to me.
I love the vibrant and earthy colours, the texture of the cotton pages, the curvy weight.
More than that, I love that my mum believes in my passion for writing about life. I love that she sees a beautiful handmade journal, and thinks of me.
Making art for the sake of it might mean different things to some than others. To me, it means working on all the projects I never had the time/energy/courage for.
It means ignoring the self-doubt that says “this is crap, no one will like what you’re doing”. It isn’t about what other people like.
It means accepting that the real art is in the creative process, and the final outcome, the body of work, is only the last representation of that artistic expression.
It means submission to our own creative powers, whatever they are, for the sake of it.
I sat down for what felt like ages, anxiously trying to squeeze out a brilliant, life-altering idea.
That moment is strangely magical, when you find clarity in having no idea whatsoever.
The blank page is shining bright and I look into it, tapping my fingers, wondering…”what next?”
The reward for me is that I turned up, and asked the question.
Handmade wedding invitations can get daunting if you care to the point of obsession about what other people think.
I made these, and each one only took a few minutes to make. I had accepted that probably most of the people we invited would think they looked cheap and tacky. Cool!
I downloaded the font (DK Oranjerie), you can find it here. I then typed up the invitations in MS Word, and printed them on my home printer, 2 to a page, on 160gsm printing paper. Sliced ’em to make A5 invitations and then went to work spattering the invitations, and the envelopes, with 4 contrasting colours of watered down acrylic paint.
We made 2 types of invitations: one for people invited to the more formal part of the day (the wedding), and one for people invited to the New Year’s Eve party later that night. I also decorated envelopes with the spattering process, and a rubber stamp.
Easy and fun to make; I loved visiting people and seeing these on their fridge; it turned out most of our friends and family loved them.
I made the Save the Date for our wedding, using watercolours and a fine ink pen. I then scanned it to my computer and sent the image to our friends and family via whatever means available to each guest. Much cheaper than sending out 80+ individual STD’s through the post. Much more environmentally sound too, don’t you think?
Oh, and did you notice the Gold Tops?
Other than a couple of fatigue related errors, I’m stoked with how this came out! Now, to start brainstorming for the invitation…
“The philosophy of anarchy lies in empowering people to take control of their own lives and not on having others having power over them.” – James Cox
It has been quite a stretch between posts now, but instead of stressing over the unfinished, well-intentioned pieces that have been stacking up in my hard-drive for the last few weeks, I decided to do some guilt-free procrastination, and draw instead.
In the last week, I’ve been working on something different – a concept for an acrylic painting that thumbs its’ nose at depleted inspiration and creative block. I wanted to share it (because accountability is the very basis of my productivity at this point), so here are a few snapshots of it. Think of this as a teaser.
I don’t want to give too much about it away because I have high hopes for the finished product, and if I try and go too much into it, the whole concept will likely explode into proverbial confetti before the words make it to the screen. It is a style completely different to my paintings in the past – which were mostly block coloured, acrylic stencil portraits.