***Linkup Details are at the bottom of this post – I hope you’ll join the fun!
I’m starting a new weekly blog series that’s all about hand drawn illustrations. Three generations of my family, my mom, myself and my five year old daughter, Kate, will pick up our pencils to connect, create and learn together.
The idea was inspired by Carla Sonheim‘s book Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists. In the book, she offers “52 creative exercises to make drawing fun“. We will do one a week for the next year. Each week I will post our results. Some weeks you will see drawings from all three of us. Other weeks there may be just one or two of us. My only caveat is I don’t want to pressure my little one. She’s a natural born artist and I would never want to make her creative time anything but fun and rewarding.
My mom discovered the book. The more she talked about it, the more I knew I had to have it. Turns out, I may have been living under a rock. When I started researching I realized it’s a hot book. Etsy even had a How-Tuesday with Carla demonstrating how to make the cutest paper dolls you will ever see.
There are several reasons this book spoke to me. I often feel my artistic self is lost among the other aspects of my job. There is marketing (meh), bookkeeping (ick) and hours and hours spent behind the computer creating layouts, typesetting and communicating with clients (fun). Often I’m left with little time for raw creativity. I find myself going to my Wacom tablet or drawing directly in Adobe Illustrator instead of picking up a pencil and drawing.
On the first page of the book, Carla writes:
Drawing is scary. You feel comfortable with collage or acrylic paint, but not with a pen or pencil. You might have tried to learn to draw from traditional drawing books or classes and felt frustrated, or worse, bored. Perhaps you’ve tried learning to draw on your own, but are critical of your efforts. (Note: this is not fun). And yet… something inside is telling you to put more of your own hand into your work.
Yes! Something inside me has been telling me to put my “own hand” into my work. Last year, I had the same feeling about photography. I put my mind to it and I not only learned technique, but I also learned to foster my personal style. I hope to do the same here. Luckily drawing is more familiar to me than photography was when I began.
When I shared the book with Kate, she opened to page 94, saw the zebra above and immediately asked me to sketch it for her. I did, not really paying attention. She immediately built upon my pencil sketch to create the piece above. It is truly a multi media illustration. She used card stock, copy paper, watercolor, Sharpie, and glue stick. While her drawing had nothing to do with the actual assignment on page 94, the creativity that poured out of her from a simple prompt is the motivation I need to take on this new challenge.
Have you read Drawing Lab? Have the assignments inspired you or motivated you to draw? I’d love to hear your experiences. If you’d like to play along, let me know. It would be fun to create a weekly link up. If there’s interest, I’m happy to include everyone.
UPDATE and LINKUP Details:
We will kickoff next Thursday, March 31 with Unit 1 Lab 1: Draw Cats in Bed. I purchased my book at my local bookstore. You can purchase it online here. If you won’t receive the book in time for the first lab, I can email you a photocopy of the assignment. I’ll only do this for Lab 1 – we want to make sure Carla is compensated for writing such an motivating book! And of course, late comers are always welcome!
Each Thursday, I’ll post my family’s drawings and a link up on my blog. Along with your drawing, I’d love to hear a brief recap of your process, positive or negative, and if you chose to take your drawing to the “next level” as Kate did in the sample above. You can post your work on your blog or on Flickr. After posting, be sure to visit everyone’s blog to see their interpretation of the assignment and share your experiences.
Please remember, this is raw creativity. Our drawings won’t be perfect or gallery ready, instead they will be an organic starting place for the artist inside each of us.