Drawing is not something I’ve done much since I was a kid, but recently it occurred to me that I have to do a graphic novel. The idea came to me during a long, stupid fight with my therapist (ostensibly about her wastebasket, but of course it was really about something else). A year later, things are very different in her office but the idea hasn’t gone away. It has made itself at home in my head and follows me around all day long begging for scraps. All-righty, then.
If I’m going to make a book full of comics, obviously I have to make drawing a habit. So I am drawing every day. Other than that, there is only one rule: no pencils and no erasers, just a blank notebook and a black Sharpie pen. Sometimes I draw for five minutes. Sometimes it takes almost an hour.
It is starting to be my favorite part of the day, which means I am starting to spend more time on it.
I’m going to try to share a 3×4-inch chunk of my sketchbook every week. I will stop if it gets in the way of my actually doing the work. Here is a piece of last night’s page:
I have a long list of things I need to get comfortable drawing, and a big library of reference photos. The list keeps getting longer, and the library keeps getting bigger. Every day I pick a different thing to draw. This will keep me busy for a long time. It would take a long time even if I abandoned the sculptures (which I will not). It is okay if the book doesn’t happen until I’m 70, or if it never happens at all. The process is taking me somewhere, and I trust that it is somewhere worth going.
Lynda Barry’s blog is enormously encouraging.