Early parenthood is a chaotic time. It’s a time when a typical daily creative habit goes like this: You pick up a pen or brush in the morning. You put it down a minute later because someone has spilled the jam. You forget about it. Ten thousand things happen. By the afternoon you manage another three minutes before someone shouts “Water!” Now it’s nearly the end of the day and the kids are sitting round the table with their dinner. Time to finish the drawing or flash essay. For the first five minutes of dinner there is silence. The kids shovel back fish fingers and you are done. In total your small, daily creative work took ten minutes. In practice, it took all day. Sound familiar?
“Draw What’s In Front Of You” is the name of my new sketchbook. It pretty much does what it says on the tin. I draw whatever I see in front of me the minute I pick up my sketchbook. Usually it’s a teddy bear next to a slipper with a cord wrapped around them and a crumpled up bit of paper beside it. That sort of thing. It’s not ambitious. It’s not even in my discipline - I don’t have a special talent for drawing. It’s not something I do professionally. It’s just a daily habit that gives my creative brain a bone to chew on. Without a bone to chew on my creative brain is wont to chew on things it shouldn’t - the psychic version of slippers and sofa cushions.
What you need:
A notebook (I like a black paper-backed moleskin)
A pen (I like a runny ballpoint type pen)
Keep it in an accessible and visible place and always put it back there. (I keep mine on a shelf above the toaster.)
Your kids really “get” drawing. It’s not cerebral. They do it all the time themselves. You can get them their own notebook and they can do their own version.