Point of Interest

I was going to continue my Daily Sketch series with a list of reasons on why it’s worth developing a regular drawing habit.  Will one do?

I imagine there comes a point when you don’t have to mentally prepare yourself as the discomfort no longer comes from the anticipation but from the lack of practice.

Copper Harris – Habit Forming

Catch-up on my previous Daily Sketch posts:

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Side Effects

“When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.”

James Clear – Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.

With yet another turn of the calendar there aren’t many weeks left in 2017.  17 in fact.  That’s 17 fresh starts.  Or 17 opportunities to choose, act, repeat, if you’re developing a new weekly habit.

And I am.

Every week, I intend to complete one ‘sewing’ task.  They will vary in magnitude, and distance from my current comfort zone.  But by the end of the year I should have 17 more items to wear, and a new set of sewing skills under my belt.  But it’s okay if I only complete one.  As long as I turn up for weekly practice.

Oddly, I feel more comfortable problem-solving with fabric and trying out new (and often complex) sewing techniques, than I am drawing with pencil on paper.  Yet there’s more at stake.  Maybe it’s the way I’m looking at things; I’ll be asking myself about that while I’m mindfully sewing.

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Two Dereks

Derek 19.08.17

Two quick ink sketches of Derek in his birthday suit.  On the left, I used a cotton bud to capture tones; on the right I used a paintbrush and focussed on outline.

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Sparks Don’t Fly

What do you do when you’re stuck on something?  Do you sit through it until you work your way to the other side?  Or, do you walk away and allow yourself to be distracted by something else?

Tasked with developing an inspiring 20-minute careers’ presentation for primary school children, I got a spark of an idea while brushing my teeth one morning before work.  Four days’ later my reluctant colleague and I delivered my idea seven times in one day, and it was a hit with both the children and their teachers.  Even my colleague was buzzing with energy by the time we returned to work at the end of the day.

I’m trying the same approach with a dormant creative project, but I’m lacking sparks.  I have some character ideas I’ve been working on and (mostly) off for a few years.  But I’m struggling to ‘see’ them.  I know them well enough to be able to describe them in words, but the images are harder to get down on paper.  I’m also struggling with story ideas, for them, and keep looking for distractions.  Not a great start for my first picture book project!

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The Measure of Measure

As I sat down to type this I felt the familiar guilt of having done NOTHING in my sketchbook since my last post two weeks’ ago.  “But you have!” my inner voice tells me. I’d forgotten I’d drawn some character sketches for my Craftsy Expressive Picture Book Characters course, trying to figure out how to make an animal look upset.  But I’ve been asleep a few times since then.  And I’m so used to berating myself for not doing any drawing, that I don’t make a point of revelling when I do.

And this doesn’t take into account other creative things I’ve been doing during the last two weeks.  Mr C and I have started to design our front garden, which is currently a 12x6m patch of gravel, with no foliage.  I’ve also started to adjust a worn-once dress so I’ll wear it more often, and had to create stuff for work.  And although I added a few doodles to my character design sketchbook, that’s not the point.

Creativity can manifest itself in many ways, through words, images, ideas, conversations, and clothes, for example.  So, we shouldn’t use just one method to measure our creativity by, if at all.  The quality of our creative journey is probably a far better indicator of the progress we’re making, than the number of steps (pages/projects) we’ve taken to get there.

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