I know, right? You’re thinking, “So what? It’s a bunch of doodles. What’s the big deal?”
There are, in fact, two big “sins” in this piece (keep in mind that I’m using the word “sin” a bit tongue-in-cheek; my conscience is (mostly) fine with this piece of art, and I’m using the word to make a point):
The first “sin” is the media I chose. I used a sharpie! *gasp* …somewhere, somehow in my mind (and in my upbringing too, I suppose), I came to believe that using sharpie in any project was basically a big no-go. A waste or a good sharpie, my subconscious tells me. A terrible thing to do, to waste a perfectly good sharpie, and on a doodle, of all things. I don’t even plan on using that doodle for anything!
The second “sin” is my use of a sketchbook. Sketchbooks in my mind have somehow come to be equaled with awesome art. Art journals, sketches, flawless pen inkings. But not doodles! For shame. And, to top it all off, I didn’t even put another piece of paper behind it to protect my book in case the marker bled through. Going to hell in a handbasket, this kid right here.
The point I’m trying to make is this: the preconceived notion I have (and maybe you’ve had at some point too) is that all art must be perfect, beautiful, purposeful, and a good use of materials. I have spent most of my life being afraid to really freely explore, with reckless abandon, the depths of a media, for fear that I’m being “wasteful” or “sloppy” or “ugly.” I spend so much time justifying my work of art that it does become that- work, instead of creative play. And it’s that, not the use of sharpie in a sketchbook doodle, that’s the real shame.
If you’ve ever experienced the same self-inflicted guilt I mentioned above, here’s a suggestion I have for you, to help you break free of the same problems I face. Buy a composition book, or better yet, adopt an old one that’s half used and has no foreseeable future. On the front page (or the inside cover), write a letter to yourself, granting yourself permission to fully waste, destroy, or otherwise ruin the book. Sign and date it, the whole bit.
And then do it! I use mine for to-do lists, brainstorming, notes at meetings, cutting or tearing out (*gasp*) scrap paper… the whole lot. I still find myself balking at the use of my book for some things, but I force myself to push through and utterly waste the book according to my needs. Because I remove my inhibitions on my creativity, I am finally free, really free, to create.
So come create with me! What are some ways you have stepped over your fears or inhibitions and embrace the creative process?