draw squadPosted: September 23, 2009
I am a doodler. I am constantly drawing over everything. Sometimes over things that aren’t mine – on files at work, notes for my boss, pieces of mail that aren’t addressed to me. I don’t discriminate.
Doodling is essential, I think, in discovering what you like to draw and what images might be reoccuring in your work. It is a tool that can help you to better articulate the language you use to express yourself visually.
I used to draw a lot with ball-point pin along the margins of my paper in elementary and middle school. Even back then, I drew similarly themed patterns and shapes that I draw now. Sure, these shapes and tiny drawings evolved as I grew older and gained more artistic prowless, but the interest remained the same.
A couple of years ago, it dawned on me how important things that I liked when I was younger and the activities that I did matter more than we think as adults. You shouldn’t write off things as being “childish” or “what I did when I was younger”. Ideas and interests get recycled and reappropiated in different ways as we grow, change, and learn more about the world around us.
A couple of Thursdays ago I was sitting in class and was drawing over my notes while the teacher was lecturing. I drew this little building, and as I drew it, I thought about how I learned to draw that. I remembered it was out of this book and tape series that I borrowed from the public library when I was younger. Racking my brain, I couldn’t remember what it was called, but I loved the series, and it taught me a lot about learning to draw in perspective and make things look 3D (besides purely observational drawing). I finally found the series using a few keywords: Mark, cartooning, outerspace. Mark was the artists name, it was about cartooning, and one of the covers had outerspace on it.
Here’s one of the books that I looked at very intently as a kid, and drew from all the time:
Mark Kistler was an educator that later did these instructional books and videos on how to draw. They were on PBS and emphasized imagination. Looking back on these books now, they are sort of cheesy to me, but have their place. I loved the series as a kid, and it really inspired me to keep drawing and being creative. And, many years later, I am still drawing some of the things that I remember learnng in his books!
Did anyone happen to read and draw from these books? Or watch the tapes?
Unrelated but important: Today is my 24th birthday. Each year birthdays become less magical for me. I believe that last year was the culmination of birthday excitement – my golden birthday if you will. 23 on the 23rd. Last year? Two-for-one drinks at the Ottobar. This year? A party at my work in which I will not be out until 8:30pm atleast. Almost 12 hours at work.