Was trying to pull off one of Lynda Barry’s class exercises on my own, but it was tricky. Spent an evening hacking together a substitute for friends so I could do a solo “Character Jam”.More
The best part of working on this series is how time disappears. I don’t know where it is I go when I’m using the brush, but at some point I come back and there is a little painting.
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.
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.
“Hello students, meet Professor Skeletor. Be on time, don’t miss class, and turn off your phones. No time for introductions, we start drawing right away. The goal is more rock, less talk, and we communicate only through images.”
“Syllabus takes the course plan for Barry's workshop and runs wild with it in her densely detailed signature style. Collaged texts, ballpoint-pen doodles, and watercolor washes adorn Syllabus 's yellow lined pages, which offer advice on finding a creative voice and using memories to inspire the writing process. Throughout it all, Barry's voice (as an author and as a teacher-mentor) rings clear, inspiring, and honest.”