Thursday, August 24

7 Day Sketchbook Challenge

Morning everyone! I've been trying a new approach to drawing over the past few weeks. I've been really busy and travelling all over the place, which has meant that whenever I've had two minutes to sit down and draw I've been absolutely dead inside with no creative juice left flowing. Rather than kicking myself for not being able to channel the next Mona Lisa on my lunch break, I've decided to take a step back and have a mental regroup.

So often when it comes to creative block it's easy to stumble at the first hurdle. I've decided to eliminate the hurdle-- for this challenge, I tasked myself with wiping my brain clean and drawing only what was directly in front of me.

I decided that I didn't necessarily want to draw for seven days in succession.

I don't know about you guys, but more often than not I just generally do the same thing day in day out.

For instance, if I had done this 'challenge' for a solid week last week, it would have been seven days documenting the various lengths I've gone to in order to watch Game of Thrones on catchup (iTunes, PS4, laptop, phone, Wiki, on the couch, in bed, on my desk, secretly at work, in the car, lying face down on the rug).

I decided that wouldn't be too thrilling and so just wanted to draw when the mood struck and I was doing something different than before.

Across the month of August I actually went to a fair few places and did a fair few things (hence the creative block in the first place), so it was nice to sit and draw and think what I'd been up to since the last drawing.

I chose seven days because it felt like a satisfying amount and not too daunting a challenge.

What really helped was that I had exactly the right size jotter for porting around. I initially planned to use a much bigger sketchbook and use this as a pen-and-paper challenge, but I wound up sat in a field in the New Forest with only a little reporter's jotter and a black pencil for company and figured it was as good a set of tools as any. The first sketch I did of my desk was only supposed to be a warm up, but I wound up liking the plain old reality of sitting at my desk juxtaposed with the other days.

I always remember a book I read when I was younger by Meg Cabot (of The Princess Diaries glory) about a girl who was signed up to art lessons but never progressed because she only drew things in her head and never referenced from life. The big 'art lesson' of the book (if you could call it that) was to 'draw what you see, not what you know'. I tried to adopt that adage for this challenge and actually it brought a bit of fun back to things. I definitely recommend it if anyone one else feels they're due a refresher. Let me know if you give it a try.

Catch you soon!

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