Episode 438 of the CMP, a Creativity Matters Podcast — drawing stick figures, dip pens, the 100 Day Project, the path to a dream, and more.
This episode hinges on a recurring sense that I am stuck behind my eyeballs and can’t turn just plop my eyeballs out in space and draw myself (or something envisioned). It’s a strange sentiment, but recurring sentiments sometimes are strange and even nonsensical. Needing to draw a tiny (really tiny) stick figure “walking” for something in my illustrated journal recently threw me for a loop.
A stick figure seems simple Little kids draw all kinds of pictures with stick figures. Maybe it has a head, a single-line body, two arms, and two legs. But how those two arms and legs get positioned remains an impossible puzzle in my head. I think about this a lot.
Note – as I did say in this show, I don’t really “want” to draw stick figures. I don’t have ambitions to draw a book of stick figures. But extrapolating out from this, the inability to visualize how the lines work for a stick figure seems intrinsic to difficulties being able to draw other kinds of characters, scenes, moments, and people from my head.
Update – this show was recorded about the problem. Practicing may be a valid and obvious solution and one that has to be fit in if it really matters – or if the dream really matters. There is a niggling voice worming around in my head that knows that sometimes, our dreams are ones that just need to be let go, that somehow are malformed in and of themselves. For now, I’m listening instead to the wisdom of growth mindset. I drew a bunch of a single figure last night, all in seated positions. I used a reference, but I’m going to just continue to do this, reminding myself that it’s easy to be frustrated by a weak skill (or the sense that something that should be innate is not), but the only way to make a difference is to practice.
What do you have to put aside when you are going for your dream?
Circles, Dip Pen, and the 100 Day Project
I didn’t go in-depth in this show about the two 100 Day Projects I started. They involve “circles” and “dip pen” for 100 days. I envisioned the projects separately. But they have ended up being combined on most days. This is largely due to the way dip pen is working. I hope to talk more about these later, but I am sharing regularly at Instagram. (Most of my work on the 100 Day Project is also being funneled into my #illustrateyourweek journal pages. I didn’t totally expect that my illustrated journal would become “mostly” circles, but that may be what happens for these three months. I’m just letting each night’s bit of drawing happen and letting circles appear in whatever way feels right as I experiment with them for layout and as containers for drawing, quotes, documentation, and mindfulness.)
(The 100 Day Project started January 31. This very long post goes through a few of the options I considered and how I think about this project.)
I mentioned two books at the end, and I probably should have removed those mentions! I didn’t give the title of the first book yet. The second is one that probably doesn’t belong on this show, but it is a book that struck me profoundly in the writing itself, in the detail and memory (in a book that is also about a loss of memory). Know My Name is a powerful (and very brave) book and was such a compelling reading experience for me.
Listen to Episode 438
This episode is available in many of your favorite podcast players.
Mentioned in this Episode (or Related)
- Episode 426: Dip It
- Episode 308: Mapping Time
- Episode 310: Blocking Time
- Episode 311: Tracking Time
- Episode 305: Doodle Bug
- Exit Games – a good one to start with is The Abandoned Cabin (or, with younger players, something like The Enchanted Forest)
- Thinking about the 100 Day Project 2021
- One Color a Day Sketchbook (by Courtney Cerruti)
- Face Blind (by Oliver Sacks, The New Yorker)
- Know My Name: A Memoir (by Chanel Miller)
- Notes on large format sketchbooks
- ROYGBIV supplies: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet
- 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 and my illustrated journal)
- Moleskine Art Sketchbook — the REALLY big one — A3 (11.75″ x 16.5″)
- Platinum Carbon Black ink (what’s in my fountain pen)
- Sktchy app for inspiration photos
- Micron 08 (larger nib good for thicker lines or filling in small-medium spaces)
- Micron 01 (favorite for drawing)
- Micron Sampler
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- Try Creative Bug with the Living a More Creative Life: 30 Ways in 30 Days class
- Guitar music: Nicholai Heidlas on SoundCloud