What Can I Do With My Slow Drawings?
Dear Wonderful, Creative You:
Slow drawing has seeped into every part of my art practice. I love the way these nature-based patterns seem to have a connection to everything, and everyone sees them differently. It speaks to the way these patterns repeat throughout nature. I’m going to walk you through a few of my favorite ways to use slow drawing patterns in my art.
First though, it’s really important that we mine your imagination for ideas without mixing them up with mine. I’m happy to share mine, but your creative vision will keep you the most interested and take you the furthest in your art practice, so let’s start there.
Make a list of all the ways you could use slow drawing in art for 5 minutes. Write down the most boring and mundane – like using them as scratch paper for reminders, to the most ridiculous – using them as a pattern to decorate the next space ship. Then write down all the ideas that come somewhere in the middle as well. No idea is too bland, silly, weird, or preposterous.
When your 5 minute timer goes off, read over the ideas and circle the ones you really like. Now you have a ready made list of ideas for the days when you aren’t sure what to create.
Make Hope Cards
You can write messages of hope, love, or encouragement on your cards. I love to leave them in random places for people to find, or give them to servers or other people who have been good to me. I have students who bring piles of them to cancer centers, hospice, and elder homes. It’s wonderful to brighten someone’s day.
Mix a slow drawing pattern with simple ink lines. I’ve been working on this piece, bit by bit, for weeks. It’s a joy to watch it unfold and see where it leads me. I teach this gorgeous ink technique in my class, Inky Lines.
Mix, match, and collage with your slow drawings in your journal. I like to place different ones together to see how they look in teams or pairings. Sometimes I cut them too. I show how to do this and create doors, pop ups and more in my class, The Little Book of Wonder.
Join Our Weekly Slow Drawing Parties:
Cover a journal spread with a slow drawing pattern. Rather than copying this page, look through your patterns and pick one that you really enjoy. As you draw, slow down and enjoy the process – see what it’s like to slow draw for 30 minutes rather than trying to see how much of the page you can cover in that time. A slow drawing pattern page will take you several sittings.
Switch your perspective – notice what the pen feels like in your hand, notice the ink sinking into the page, and the sound of the nib against the paper. You’ve got to slow down to notice these sensations, and when you do, I think you’ll find that you can also hear your own creative ideas more clearly, and your skills will improve more quickly. Slow down to improve fast. The piece will unfold in its own time. This is a building block of my artistic practice.
Mix slow drawing with another art form you practice. The best work you create with slow drawing is not likely to be the ones inspired by my ideas, but the ones the weave together slow drawing and something that is yours. Maybe you’ll be the person to weave together slow drawing and gardening, slow drawing and printmaking, slow drawing and poetry, slow drawing and pottery. Show us what is possible. We know what I would do with slow drawings, now it’s time to see what you would do.
Allow yourself permission to follow your own instincts, I think you’ll be amazed at what you can create, and I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
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