January 14, 2011

Unearthing old sketches

Last month I accidentally erased 2 years of pictures from my college days in New York City.  The good news, is that I originally thought I lost 4, but two have been recovered.  My fault for not understanding technology, damn you external hard drive!

Anyway, I went on a hunt from remnants of those years, and found some 35 mm pictures, a few paintings, and my first college sketchbook - which was a cheap notebook.

At first I thought they were abysmally bad - but then I came across a great article on Lynda Barry's new book, but more interestingly, what it means to "be good at art" or just letting yourself sketch anything, and it motivated me to post them anyway.

Don't be afraid to draw

"What happened on the day I realized I could not draw?" Now that's an ugly thought, but the courageous artist assures us that "it happens to almost everyone." She explores the fear that a blank drawing book, or even a blank sheet of paper can conjure up, then proceeds to annotate the process of making ugly and pretty shapes, collecting them into nice piles, and then "finding your way back to the place where the shapes are happening." Another piece of sage advice about overcoming our inherent inabilities is a blinding glimpse of the obvious: "The trick is to stand not knowing certain things long enough for them to come to you."

"Try dots when you are blue," the thoughtful artist urges. This section explores in detail the language of dots; how they differ from lines and how it made her feel as a child when she covered things in dots - "it was like a dare." Picture This covers just about every kind of art crisis imaginable and what to do about it. "What makes you able to endure uncertainty. What makes your mind wander? Why do we lose focus?" Part of the solution is "You have to be willing to spend time making things for no reason."

                              - interview by Peggy Roalf


  1. I love these!!! Even your notebook sketches have so much energy!

  2. Anonymous14.1.11

    from Julie

    Thank you for the inspirational message and for sharing your early sketchbook pages. My sketchbooks make me cringe. ;) -- Yet I know that the only way to improve is to keep drawing.

  3. I think that if you allow the "show hidden folders" option you can see the recycle bin and then drag the pictures from the bin and onto your hard drive?

    I think this works for all externals? Because mine has a recycle bin! I hope this helps T_T

  4. so tru, i look at old stuff and say to myself "why did I stop doing that project it was genuis!" its great way to see how youve progessed but it also shows how you might have always stayed tru to yourself even if you thought you strayed...

  5. Anonymous29.1.11

    great advice..."be willing to spend time doing things for no reason." thanks for sharing. Love your work.