Catalog

Imagination

Quotes

Do you believe in Hobbes?

One day, I asked Otis what he thought of Hobbes. “What do you believe? Is he real or is he stuffed?” In a tone that connoted my knucklehead status, my son answered, “He’s a real tiger, but for some reason grown-ups think he’s a stuffed animal. I guess they just don’t know any better.”

His explanation silenced me. I realized I’d made a grave mistake. I was one of the (stupid) grown-ups. [...] Whether Hobbes was live or stuffed was beside the point. To believe in Hobbes is to believe in the power of imagination.


Ordinary superpower

Draw ten five minute cats. Use a timer. Don’t stop. In less than an hour you will get to know some cat that starts showing up under your brush. No by willful effort, but by some sort of being together over a period of time. A drawing of a cat can be that, a being together with the image you make of the cat and then five minutes later you can draw the same cat to see what it is up to. Maybe it’s in the same position, maybe it has gone to sleep. But I like to imagine this place where the cat is being itself and I can somehow pull up pictures from that place onto the paper. It becomes a kind of conjuring. And ordinary superpower.


That third place

One of the most mysterious things about drawing fast is how the drawings accumulate some kind of aliveness that I can’t recognize at all when I’m making them. None of these drawings made me happy or satisfied me while I was making them. But later they made me laugh. Especially the ones I’d thought were ‘failures’. Those are the ones that seem the most alive to me later. I was writing to someone about it. Saying that these are the ones that are impossible to do on purpose and impossible to really copy. The spontaneous gesture is in the line. That third place.