Going Outside the Lines

If you’re like me, you’re constantly in the beehive of inspiration trying to get stung. Lately, I’ve been trying to reconnect with those long-ago days when I created as much visual art as I did poetry. I loved to sketch and color, doodle and draw. But I haven’t actively tried to draw in over ten years. What has changed? Well, I got older in that time and I started saying things to myself like:

I’m too busy

I’m not any good

I don’t know what I’m doing

drawing is for children

When I realized this I was more than a little disgusted with myself. Have I become one of those people who convince themselves they’re not creative? Haven’t I learned anything from Ken Robinson!? (Seriously, if you haven’t seen this TED Talk, you must). Video

All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist once he grows up. -Pablo Picasso

Last month, I stumbled upon a creativity workbook designed to ignite the imagination called Draw, Inspire, Create (Parragon Books, 2012).

Draw, Create, Inspire

Each page of this book has a drawing prompt, such as: “Draw the night sky,” “Create a doodle without lifting your pen from the page,” “Draw an angry color, a happy one, a sad color.” The book also features inspirational quotes from artists like Monet and Picasso. Each full-color page is designed as a springboard to launch the imagination. Would I buy this book for an eleven year old? Yes. Would I buy this book for myself? I did.

Now, I take the time twice a week to sit down with this book and just do. I’m still not very good, but that doesn’t matters to me. It never should have mattered. My inner child is happy that I’ve brought her out and I’m excited for us.

Why? Because Draw, Inspire, Create is just one in a series of drawing books from Parragon including: Let’s Draw!, Ooodles of Doodles, and Doodles of Fun. Will I eventually buy all of these? Yes.

Outside the LinesAnd I know I’m not far off base in needing the creative act in my life, when earlier this month a coloring for adults was published by Perigee Trade called Outside the Lines: An Artists’ Coloring Book for Giant Imaginations.

This book is a collective of over 100 artists’ “edgy and imaginative pieces…ready for you to add your own special touch,” says the publisher. The artists are include “animators, cartoonists, fine artists, graphic artists, illustrators, musicians, outsider artists, photographers, street artists, and video game artists.”

You know what this means don’t you? Say goodbye to that SpongeBob SquarePants coloring book, the future has arrived.

Thank you, future, my creative integrity needed you.

One Comment Add yours

  1. I love hearing about other writers who also practice/resist a visual art form. The guilt is weird, and I share it with you. But the synergy? Wonderful! So glad to see you’re following inspiration in this direction.

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