Episode 414 of the CMP, a Creativity Matters Podcast — an “error log” theme in sync with recent website problems and a “dragon cape” portrait drawing
In this episode of the CMP, a short draw along on a Sunday morning. There have been errors lately related to the website, and I have really, really wanted to be able to call up a slightly more dev-oriented version of myself for help. Sunday got far more complicated than I had thought it would when I recorded this episode, so things went downhill after this. But early that morning, when I recorded with my first cup of coffee and the quiet and light of a Sunday morning, error logs were on my mind.
I think we do have error log sensibilities in many areas of our life. Some of the things we use to order our lives are similar. We might have habit logs, tracking systems, planners, time tables, step counters, and accountability partners. We create and use (in the best of times) scaffolding that helps us know what we need to do and gives us a way to check our status and see how things are going. It might be a check on a dot-grid planner, a colored wedge on a monthly mandala, or just a mental hatching in of a task completed.
Our data grows.
Weekly Self-Portrait Stuck; Soup Didn’t
A weekly self-portrait is currently a silent process, a cron job of sorts. Once a week, I’ve established it should happen. If it doesn’t, no one will notice. Will there be an error log entry? What makes some projects ones that we invest in, mentally, emotionally, and with self-discipline and self- accountability, and other projects we hope to treat the same we let go. What are the borders and contours that define these projects and their differences?
I have continued drawing weekly self-portraits beyond the 52 weeks of the 50 Before 50 year and into this current Year 50. Every week, I do a self-portrait. Soup, on the other hand, I set up to be a weekly challenge for 2020. Things were going well until the pandemic quarantine started. Soup should still have been possible, although getting frozen corn was not. (And somehow frozen corn became a stumbling block even though not all soup requires corn. Our easy, staple crockpot soup, of which some variation seemed to be my repeated weekly contribution to my challenge, did benefit from corn.)
Pandemic to Blame?
If COVID-19 hadn’t happened, would the soup have continued? Maybe? I don’t know for sure. The dynamics are different now. What I have easy access to is different. Who is in the house is different. My own energy is different. It’s easy to blame the failed soup project on the pandemic. Either way, weekly soup fell away. I was sad to let it slide, and the first time I didn’t make soup in the week, I thought I would catch up, pick back up, get back on track. Habits and projects, once they slide, can easily completely derail.
So on Saturdays, I draw the self-portrait, even when I’m too tired to or really just don’t want to face my own face again. (I still don’t see myself in most of the self-portraits I do.) But on Saturdays, instead of throwing things in the crockpot for an easy dinner, we do something else. (Health has been on a serious slide in these months.) But last week, I made soup, and it was proclaimed “the best soup ever.” (Often, the soup I make is dubbed “the best soup ever,” which I find funny but sweet. It might also be true. They just keep getting better even though they are all variations of the same thing.)
Recipe Logging in the Illustrated Journal
After making “the best soup ever,” I recorded my soup in my #illustratedjournal. I don’t measure things, so I’m not worried if I get down the proper number of ounces for the broth or the size of the bag of corn or how much of this or that I dumped in. I’m a “dump”-oriented soup maker, for sure. But I recorded the basic ingredients in simple shapes. When I went to ink them, I pulled up images in a Google search for a smidge of veracity. My one inch-ish drawing of broth doesn’t have room for the full look and feel of a container of broth and its labeling. But by looking at real samples, I felt somehow like the process had more substance and meaning.
And I’m glad the soup is there. The week before, I documented a simple baked pasta. (That might have been “the best baked pasta ever,” too.)
I hope you record your days, the details, the this and that of it all.
A Dragon Cape Drawing
The second half of the show is a portrait drawing of a little girl in a dragon costume. I am so enchanted by the photo from Sktchy. There is a series of three photos (three different costumes) and then a group shot of the three kids. I think I will have to do them all. After starting my sketch while recording this show, I did a community drawing session and drew along with some other people. I worked on this drawing (and a few others were drawing it, too), and I became more and more enamored with the idea of the costume she is wearing – a hooded cape. I jokingly said that I need a cape when I record the show. Such a funny mental image!
Mentioned in this Episode (or Related)
- Uni-Gel Alpha Shaker pencil (mine is listed as “slightly firm” – but it’s super cushy; they do come in other softness/hardness ratings. I really do love this shaker!)
- Pentel Hi-Polymer Block Eraser, Large, White (these things disappear like socks; you can never have too many white erasers lying around)
- Moleskine Art Sketchbook (what I’m using for regular drawing)
- Moleskine Art Sketchbook — the REALLY big one — A3 (11.75″ x 16.5″)
- Thick white index cards (what I’m using for Index-Card-a-Day – ICAD 2020)
- Micron Pens
- Sktchy app for inspiration photos
- Guitar music: Nicholai Heidlas on SoundCloud
- Creativity Matters Group at Facebook
- Patreon page – support the CMP and get access to some special things
- oamyoamy at Instagram
- Try Creative Bug with the Living a More Creative Life: 30 Ways in 30 Days class
- Try Trello
- Buy me a Coffee with Ko-Fi
- Amazon wishlist