One of the first blog entries I wrote here at Current360 (then CurrentMarketing) was about making time to do the things you love, in my case that was drawing. That was almost 3 years ago and needless to say I have not carried on as well as I wished. Simple things like taking a half hour to sit down and draw are quickly pushed to the side to make way for the demands of an increased workload, some quality family time, mowing the lawn and sometimes even trying to go to sleep at a decent hour. When you factor in the realities of everyday life finding an extra half hour can be easier said than done.
So recently when one of our clients asked to have a cast of stylized characters developed, a group with more of a hand-drawn feel, I was excited to be involved. After all what’s the best way to get a stylized hand-drawn feel? You guessed it, draw them by hand. Pencil and paper, yes! Love it! I keep telling myself I need to find free time to start drawing again so this is a gift. To me there is something therapeutic about turning away from my computer monitor, picking up a pencil and putting graphite on paper. At a certain point I know that the sketches will migrate from paper to computer, but for now it’s completely unplugged.
I’m not sure whether it’s tight deadlines or just the ease of using the computer programs that cause the actual act of sketching ideas to be skipped over. It always feels like the right way to start working through the design process. You can look at someone’s sketches and see such a great creative variety of ideas come out in the brainstorming process . On paper you can follow a more complete history of the development and evolution of the ideas, the odd ideas, the far fetched and outrageous ideas. Then you’ll see an idea that has merit and it’s carried through multiple stages of refinement, from a loose sketch to a great idea ready to be taken into the digital world. I alway like to keep my brainstorming sketches. Sometimes the sketches can be really helpful in other tasks. They can help break through a creative block or could even have an idea that may work in a different way on another project.
So, back to the first point. Sketching characters for our client has reminded me of my initial pledge to draw more. I’m renewing my pledge. I’ll let you know how it goes.