This newsletter is hand-written, and I could have typed it. This is more satisfying, and it changes my output considerably.
Instead of frantically typing to hit a certain output, I enjoy every second meditatively. How often do you sit somewhere where you have to wait and whip out your mobile and go onto a social media platform? This is seriously destroying your creative output for several reasons!
Reason 1: the stuff you can see and read online isn’t very good. On some platforms, like Twitter, the posts that invoke the most emotion come to the forefront, and it’s all just discourse between people who don’t know enough. You’re better off reading a book. Or, if you are looking for art, why not look for the masters? Again, in books?
Reason 2: Our output is formed by our input for us artists, and our art is a response to something. Always. And so it becomes vital to curate our input, to choose what we respond to.
Reason 3: you need to give your brain time to be bored, not do anything, just look around you and think and experience life.
Put away your mobile, and just slow down and look around. Discover what YOU think of the world. And let that show in your art. Because that is an important thing that makes your art interesting: what is that unique thing YOU have to say about what you see around you?
Don’t respond to other peoples’ opinions; it is just a second-hand opinion. That’s one reason I often find editorial cartoons less interesting: the cartoonist reads today’s news and comes up with a cartoon—his response to his input.
But it is his response to an opinion by a journalist. It’s not based on personal observation. Sempé is an example of a cartoonist who didn’t read the newspapers but instead made his cartoons about the little ironies of life he saw around him. Why “protect” children with umbrellas? They LOVE jumping into poodles! And it’s just water!
Social media is fast food for the brain. And you distract your creative brain with it and fill your brain with it. There are many books out there that are tremendously more worthy of your time.
Or just slow down, walk around or sit somewhere, and just take in life!
If you feel like drawing, then check out my favorite drawing exercises!
to warm up, slow down, get into the right meditative state, and improve your draftsmanship skills.
to help you improve creating underdrawings, place things in space, practice doing perspective by sight.
Practice drawing from memory to fill your visual bank, ability to memorize, ability to visualize, ability to draw what you see in your imagination and your ability to see what is wrong with your drawings.
If you find it hard to create or maintain a creative habit, you can find some habit-related tips here. Lastly, also make sure you have fun in your sketchbook after the hard practice!