If this was an illustration or drawing brief I’d be distracting myself with time fillers. But it’s not, and (despite my lack of experience) it doesn’t seem at all scary.
I’ve just started a creative writing course – a free Open University one on FutureLearn.com, and this exercise appears halfway through Week One. So, what is it about writing that feels just slightly daunting but doable, yet if we were tasked with drawing the very same we’d make our excuses not to (or in my case, keep putting off until I’d plucked up enough courage just to open my sketchbook, then spend longer criticising the results than I spent crafting my sketch).
But that’s the point of a beginners’ course, isn’t it? To have a go, make mistakes as we learn something new, accepting every stumble and fall as a necessary part of the learning curve. Yet, with drawing, whether we’re starting out, starting over or beginning to find our feet it’s harder to accept the very same stumbles and falls.
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Chaos in my mind (before feng shui, 2017).
When was the last time you showed your creative space some TLC?
Since rearranging my own studio last year, I took it for granted that all would be well in my creative world. And it was for a few months. With it almost tidy and organised it felt like a breath of fresh air, and inspiration had room to play.
At the moment, my own messy studio is a reflection of me – a chaos of ideas I want to cling onto, just in case. Fabric and yarn donations that I’ve welcomed with open arms, just in case. They’re stored on the floor because I haven’t found space for them. And boxes. Good sturdy cardboard boxes, just in case.
But, as much as we should take care of ourselves, we should take care of our creative space. Show we appreciate it supporting us through peaks and troughs, and it will continue to provide the breathing space for our crazy ideas and inspired thoughts. If we keep the path clear we might even get to see the next stage of our journey, too.
WordPress prompt: Messy
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Collage, graphite and gouache on paper.
I’d usually rush through a sketch like this, and scribble it down. For a change I took a little longer to apply the line and tone, pausing to assess what it needed, and refusing to judge my finished sketch. Daily Drawing Take Two.
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Timing is everything when you set yourself a dozen deadlines in one day.
My daily drawing habit has slipped. But I know I can do it again, if I follow my own advice. More recently housework has kept me distracted for the best part of a morning, so it’s usually mid-afternoon before I settle down to draw, if at all.
To quicken my pace I’ve been setting a 20-minute timer. It’s amazing how much you get done when you know you have a deadline; you make every second count. I’m allowing myself short bursts of housework alternated with creative work. I’m getting better at not putting off, and scheduling ‘mini marathons’ of activity is helping me get more done in a day.
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This was the view from our Cumbrian cottage last week; no two days of weather were alike. I loved the dark shapes of the skeletal trees against the snow-covered hills, and attempted to simplify their shapes with a retractable pencil in my pocket sketchbook.
WordPress prompt: Simplify
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