Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I’m not the illustrator in this family. In fact, my scribbles are more than occasionally the object of ridicule and usually the kids just discreetly trot off to Dad. And quite rightly so. You don’t have to know how to draw to be a graphic designer and the last time I took hold of a piece of charcoal in any regular fashion was way back in my Uni youth during life drawing class. This evening, as we were eating dinner, I glanced up at our ‘inspire wires’ and boy, they did their job! I always see Alan Fletcher’s Cats, but this evening, there was the quickening of a pulse and an: OH MY GOODNESS, I NEED TO DO THAT!
Like Alan, I used a stick and unearthed a pot of crusty ink and started scratching away. Like the days in my life drawing class the first marks were stunted and judged and uncomfortable. I was thinking too much – planning my next move and trying to make my stick behave like a marker pen. See:
But then, gloriously, my hand started doing its own instinctive thing. Letting the stick be a stick. Now I can remember how my hand used to feel its way across the page in those life drawing sessions. It really did used to be all instinct, after throwing off a heavy cloak of self criticism.
It was just a half hour of ‘breathing space’ but for me, some tiny gems emerged. I like the unpredictable thick and thin that comes with drawing with a stick and I liked working out how to tame it a little (ever the control freak). I like some of the little doodles that came out of that half hour. And most of all, I like that anyone could do it. Food colouring would work just as well as ink, knick a stick from the garden, find some paper (bigger is better, but don’t let that stop you) and you’re set.
Go on, give it a whirl!