Episode 467 of the CMP, a Creativity Matters Podcast — Thoughts on loosening up, staying loose, and balancing the loose and the tight.
Note: This is part 1 of 2. I didn’t plan that from the start, but the recorded show was too long, so I’ve split it into two parts. I’ll release part 2 in a few days.
Can it all coexist on the page, the loose and the tight? I have hopes and dreams and intentions, but ultimately, I’m not sure. What I do know is that I’ve tightened up. It’s been a bit of an imperceptible process, in the actual shifting from loose to tight, but when I look back at older journals and sketchbooks, I really see it. I see it for myself most clearly in the loss of (or reduction in the number of) graphic novel panels. And those are really important to me.
So why do we tighten up?
I think the voices in our heads can get in our way. Our sense of what others will say or think or who might see our art when we share might be working against us.
Even knowing that loosening up is a worthy goal, there are a lot of reasons why it is hard. We like to show work we feel really confident in, work that may feel more polished or more finished than looser work. We like to take the pretty picture. (How has Instagram skewed our processes, let me count the ways!)
So, this show is a mulling show, about loose vs tight, about noticing when we feel too tight or like we are tripping all over our own expectations.
The show ended up very long, so I broke it into two parts. The next episode dives into the two older sketchbooks I looked at and contains 10 strategies for loosening up.
Honestly: even after recording, I’ve been giving my sketchbook the side-eye each night and thinking…. nah…. I’m happy here in my all-wound-up tightness. So, it may be that nothing changes. We can try. We can reason with ourselves. But sometimes, we work ourselves into a philosophical corner, and it can be hard to shake ourselves free. Just admitting that knowing what we need isn’t the same as dancing into the clear.
This previous show came up:
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Listen to Episode 467
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- Moleskine Art Sketchbook (what I WAS using for regular drawing and my illustrated journal)
- Moleskine Art Sketchbook (the REALLY big one — A3 (11.75″ x 16.5″ — I am now using this for my illustrated journal)
- Preppy Fountains Pen 02 – this is one of the best starter/inexpensive fountain pens you can buy!
- Preppy Fountain Pens 03 (multi set)
- Lamy Safari – always a good choice
- TWSBI Eco – my favorite fountain pen in the starter range (although I love my TWSBI Iris Vac even more)
- Dip Pen holder I’ve been using (with maru nibs)
- PILOT Iroshizuku Bottled Fountain Pen Ink (multiple color options)
- Diamine Fountain Pen Ink (multiple)
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- Monteverde Fountain Pen Ink (multiple)
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- 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)
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- Micron Sampler
- Notes on large format sketchbooks
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