When I started the blog way back when, I had the intention of posting artwork every day – hence the name Daily Art Food. Well, you know what they say about good intentions.
I think part of my problem was in trying to make a masterpiece every time I sat down with the pad and pencil. It is just too much pressure and if the first few lines aren’t perfect, I often give up in frustration half way through and erase the whole mess. Not good.
This habit of perfectionism has left me with lots of half started and started but erased images, and a lot of blank sketch books. Rather counter productive to a daily art blog.
Yesterday my Spring issue of MO Scribbles (the quarterly newsletter for the local chapter of SCBWI) arrived in the mailbox. I always enjoy the 30 minutes or so it takes me to read through all the articles and new bites, so I sat down after a fruitless and frustrating day fill with software malfunctions and sullen teen-aged attitude. Ah. Me time.
A rare article for the illustrator graced pages 2 & 3. The title is ‘You Won’t Be Sorry’ written by Rich Davis. In it he suggests that an artist take a 30 minute scheduled “play time” and sketch whatever. Just drawing for the sake of drawing. No pressure to perform or creat anything but whatever you might want to draw at the moment. Similar to a writer’s stream of consciousness exercise.
He lists 8 tips for success. All 8 tips make perfect sense to me. When I read them, I shook my head wondering why I hadn’t come up with this on my own sooner. I mean, as a teen and in my early 20s, I scribbled many a nonesense drawing and filled oodles of sketch books with non-masterpiece works of art.
He concludes the article with another list. This one is called 10 benefits I’ve gleaned from this practice. None of the 10 items listed are earth-shattering, but again, they are things I’d like to accomplish in my daily practice as an illustrator.
So I said to myself, “Self, there is no time like the present.”
I grabbed my shiny new art pens. (Multiple sized markers in rich black permanent ink from Office Max no less!) and a neglected sketchbook and got down to business. Not business, but playtime. Let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?
Without further ado, I present to you the daily doodle page for June 17, 2009.
click on the thumbnail to view a larger version.
Rich challenged his readers to stick with it for a month. I plan to accept the challenge. And even if I cannot post my progress everyday because I will be traveling and away from the computer, I will carry the trust sketchbook and marker with me on my travels.
Here’s to 30 minutes of scheduled playtime everyday.