Resaddling the Horse Called Drawing

So it’s a new year. 2011, they’re calling it. After tailing away on my production of “things” (mostly comics) for stimulusresponse, I’m back at it with a bit of a new stratagem . Bit of a two or three pronged stratagem. I’m operating on the core principle that drawing and otherwise making stuff is a lot about grinding out the hard yards. Inspiration’s great, and I’d love leap onto the kitchen table and shriek “O Captain my Captain”… and then draw an awesome comic, but it just isn’t my process.

So this year has seen the confluence of three key elements. First of all, there’s the nightly “creativity and osmosis” sessions that Rilla and I have been running cheerfully for the last week or so. Basically, for at least 30 minutes or so every night we turn on a lecture of some kind (thanks, iTunes U) and listen to that while “being creative”. For me that mostly means doodling in my notebook (something I am, for some reason, best at when being lectured). Or doing stuff in Manga Studio. Or something else. But doing something. The upshot being that even if you have a really shitty “creative” period, you still listened to some good lecture. (We recommend the Yale intro to psychology course – the lecturer is fantastic.)

Prong two is poetry. By the end of last year I’d become pretty enthused about drawing comics based on the “poetry” I’ve been writing. These days I try to sit down and write poems every day, of whatever caliber (generally short and trivial), and this provides fodder for comics. It’s kind of like the idea of sketching all the time in a notebook, except that I actually feel capable of doing it, unlike drawing which gives me an inferiority complex. This year I’m all about the drawing of comics from poems, I think it’s a nice way to get unusual imagery, and it’s a two birds affair. Poetry and comics, long may they reign.

Finally, there’s to be a strict return to experimentation and freedom. I’ve got to this place in my doodling life where it seems like I only draw little dark hunchbacked figures or coffee cups. And that’s it. All in black ink. As a cunning way to counter this, I allow myself to compulsively draw these same ol’ same ol’s in the notebook, but have an agreement that I will do them differently when using the tablet and Manga Studio. This means things like colour, different shapes and lines, and different “techniques”. “Techniques” is in quote marks because that’s how it is with me.

Anyway, there’s a kind of manifesto for getting more stuff squeezed into the drawing life. Boom.

18 January 2011
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