Doodle Day – the art of butt kicking (my own, that is)

As Edison says, genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. I think a lot of creative folks can sympathize with the issue of discipline – everybody has great ideas, and lots of them! The hard part is getting down and going through the hard work of hashing it out and making it happen. It’s so important – and so difficult – to consciously set aside that time and focus on getting to work! Nobody wants to think that creativity can – gasp – be work. (Or as I always say: Work. What is that)

I’ve found it really helps kick your butt to have somebody else with you, working alongside you to get into the right frame of mind. Doodle Day is a recent tradition (is that an oxymoron?) that I started with my friend Joanna back in 2009. I read about Kid Koala’s Music To Draw To event, where people can get together to quietly work on creative projects in a comfy open workspace with music, hot drinks (this was winter), and baked goods. This idea touched our hearts with awesome and we were filled with longing to travel to Montreal to participate, but reality dictated otherwise. (While I was looking up the original post so that I could link to it, I discovered via that he actually toured the event locally at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. DOOOOOH)

Anyways, we decided to do our own mini version of these events by having sleepovers (alternating at each others’ homes) where we would focus on the three important things: creating art, listening to music, and eating food. Because it was just the two of us, more often than not they deterorated into random chatting into the wee hours of the morning, but we’ve both been pleasantly surprised at how productive they’ve been! I’ve finished three paintings so far with this, and suffice to say, it really does help to have that other artist there, working (even not-so quietly) on something else at the other side, surrounded by art making stuffs, and responding to my whines of “but I don’t wannaaaa” with “JUST DO IT ALREADY” (of course I reciprocated this too).

The August long weekend was our most recent Doodle Day, and our goal was to make it a book-focused one, with the goal of creating (or at least getting started on) some original comics/storybooks! We even tried a beginner version of the infamous 24 Hour Comics challenge – a three hour challenge with strict requirements.

Let’s just say the results are too embarrassing to post, but it was an extremely educational experience. The start was definitely slow, with half-hearted scribbles, poorly panelled sketches, and surfing Google for ideas/references/random tangents. Then near the end we were basically screaming “WHAT IS THIS GARBAGE” at each other as we scrambled to finish before the timer went off. But I was really impressed with what we were able to turn out … it really forces you to JUST DO IT ALREADY, and get stuff down on paper that you can always go back and tweak and refine.

Saturday October 2, 2010 is the worldwide 24 Hour Comics Day. LET’S DO IT

Originally posted on humangray,com August 24, 2010