Monday, December 31, 2007

366 Days of Creativity

Over the last three years*, I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to draw comics consistently. I have more or less ceased to be a cartoonist or artist, and become merely a pen owner. (I had a neighbor once who owned a small sailboat, and when he’d gone a long time without taking her out on the water, he’d say he was not so much a sailor as he was just a boat owner.) Sure, there have been little bursts of creative effort here and there, false starts that haven’t really taken, and it’s been largely due to other, worthy circumstances and pursuits. Like, you know, moving to Missouri and getting married, that sort of thing (and just to assure any readers to whom I may be married, I do not write this post with any sort of regret or resentment, etc., and I love you).

But even in my new, married life, I still have lots of free time to basically do whatever I want to, especially during the academic year when Nicole is busy with her classes, but I haven’t taken advantage of this time by picking up that pen and drawing anything. I’ll play FreeCell or Puzzle Pirates, or I’ll post pictures on Flickr, or I’ll blog a bit, or watch a movie or TV show, or 65 dozen other things before I’ll remember to draw anything. I’m afraid of losing the interest altogether, and I’m just not ready to hang it up yet.

So tomorrow, in this spirit of New Year’s resolutions, I would like to change this. My idea is to draw a little something every day in 2008 and, as proof, post my silly work for all to see. I know, I tried this once before as The Daily Doodl, which became the Occasionl Doodl when I stopped posting every day. But this time I want your help! What I’d like are suggestions for themes: something consistent, some sort of common thread that will tie my daily drawings together. I have found it easier to work within some kind of framework than to just start with a blank white page and build from there. (By the way, good luck with that, Sam...Weiden+Kennedy needs you!)

For now, I’ll actually need to draw on the computer rather than on paper, until I can dig out our scanner and know that it works. I’m not too worried about not actually using a pen at this time – I really just want to create, something, somewhere. When I have finished the work, I know I will upload it to my Flickr page, and probably create a special set for just this endeavor. Also, I know that there are days when it will simply be impossible to do anything due to circumstances beyond my control – for example, when we travel, we sometimes cannot find any wi-fi. On those days, I will still try to create something offline, and, failing that, I’ll have to make up for the missed days with extra work upon my return. In all, I would like to end 2008 with at least 366 drawings of some type, probably cartoons, but maybe other things.

*I say three years because that’s about when I stopped doing Joel and Steve, even though I did draw a couple of strips in 2005.

2 Talked Back:

At December 31, 2007 at 5:44:00 PM CST, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

That's pretty inspiring, Stan.

I've got to say that, despite our differences in life experiences and such, that I have the same experience artistically.

I used to be an inveterate "drawer". Now I carry a big bag of sketchbook and graphic and even watercolor and when do I bring stuff out?

Oh, pretty much never.

I wanted to learn how to draw manga, or at least have a quick-and-ready style of my own.

You've inspired me a little bit, or maybe more than that.

After the party of the 1st, we'll see where that takes us. But I love your 365 idea.


At January 5, 2008 at 7:54:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

DO IT!!! I mean... JUST DO IT!

My idea for a theme is essentially what you naturally have a flair for... Find the oddities in the world around you (people, ugly monster trucks, bad signs etc...) and weave them into your drawings. Basically draw your life. I always find you quite entertaining! You can add in your adjustment to living in the midwest/south (what is it considered exactly) and differences in culture.

Good luck my friend!


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