Before anything, I want to tell you all how very much I appreciate all the wonderful comments I got on my “Pause” post last week. I was sincerely overwhelmed by all the support out there! Each and every comment was like a splash of fresh water in the middle of a marathon. It felt like smiles from new friends. It felt like a hundred hugs through my computer. People can be awesome, and there’s nothing more awesome than people being awesome to someone they don’t even really know.
So I thank you all so MUCH for that, with a promise to dust myself off, pick up our little pieces, gather them all around me, and keep on truckin’…
For me, when the going gets tough, the tough get….drawing. And I have been drawing a lot. I wish I was the type of person that obsessively worked out and got super buff in times of stress, but I’m not. I’m quite squishy….because instead, I bury my head in sketchbooks, custom work, random doodles, and projects with the kid.
Remember those tiny sketchbooks I got a couple of weeks ago? Well, I’ve already filled one completely. And through the magic of the internet and magical blog-incantations (which I just spent some time trying to figure out), I can show you a little video of the sketches it’s filled with:
(Music by Bach)
So I’ve been drawing a lot. I’ve been working my regular job and taking care of my regular things, getting ready for a convention in Austin at the end of October, fulfilling custom portrait orders, and dealing with everyday things, and I fill every space in between with sketches.
So I thought that with my compulsive sketching surge, I’d join in on Inktober. Have you heard of Inktober? It’s basically just a drawing challenge…a drawing a day for the month of October. I usually don’t commit to something like that with the sort of random hectic schedule I keep, but I thought that if I got Myla on board (she’s six years old now), it might be a fun thing to try to stick with and see it through…
Similar to Drawloween, Intober’s subject matter is wide open. Some people have made posts with halloween-related topic suggestions (like “pumpkin,” “vampire,” “frankenstein,” etc), and some of my artist friends have made their own lists of subjects (BreakfastJones puts her own topic out every day if you want to follow along with her).
As for Myla and I, we sort of skip around. Here’s a little show of the first few days of Inktober we’ve done so far…
Day 1: Villain. I chose Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver in Kill Bill, and Myla chose Megamind.
Day 2: Beetlejuice. I drew Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice, wearing a shirt of Beetlejuice (from the Howard Stern Show), and Myla drew Beetlejuice with a snake-tail and bugs in his hands (she’s never seen the movie).
Day 3: Witch. I drew Bellatrix Lestrange, and Myla drew the witch from one of her favorite Playmobil shows, Super 4.
Day 4: Skeleton. For this one, I let her add on to a doodle I started, turning her into a people-version of LaMuerte from Book of Life, and Myla chose to draw Turbo from Wreck-It Ralph.
Day 5: Werewolf. I drew Michael J. Fox as Teen Wolf, and she drew Aisling (a white wolf-girl), from Secret of the Kells.
Day 6: Edward Scissorhands. From the minute she saw a photo of him somewhere, Myla thought he was just the super coolest. She’s still too young to watch the movie (she’s pretty sensitive), but she gets the idea.
Day 7: Wednesday Addams. Since it was Wednesday, we HAD to draw a Wednesday! Again, she didn’t know who she was, but Myla was digging the idea of a creepy family.
Day 8: Hellboy. Another character she’s never seen in a movie, but loves the idea of. A good guy who LOOKS bad? How intriguing. And he likes cats, too!
So there you go. And there I still am, face-first in my sketchbook, getting through things the best way I can. Just like you are. Just like we all are. And it’s so, so good to know we’re not all alone…
Great drawings, both of you!
Thankyou so much!
Your sketches are fantastic and Myla has certainly picked up your genes and talent and skill for drawing. I love that you are doing this project together. I need to make a note on next year’s calendar about Inktober and I will join in. I did a 40 Days of Drawing challenge last year on the subject of Greek Mythology and it really was beneficial to feel compelled to create each day. My kids provided the prompts each day which was fun. My kids are like Myla and like to draw characters they are aware of even when they have not seen the movie. I have to remind them to not draw those characters at school in case their teachers get their knickers in a knot (one of my sons got in trouble for drawing zombies at school when he was six). Anyway, I look forward to seeing more of your Inktober drawings.
Oh I certainly know how that goes! I allow Myla to draw whatever she wants at home (and 6-year olds love anything gross), but we talk about how it’s “not appropriate” to draw them at school. So at home, we laugh at the disgusting drawings (usually involving poop or throwup or something gross), and be sure to say, “Is this for home or public?” And she knows the difference. So far, that works! I used to think that was contradictory, but I think it teaches her that there’s a time and a place for everything. Thanks!
I use the word “context” a lot. It’s a shame I’m also teaching them self-censorship as a corollary to self-expression but I would rather avoid the hassle of calls from school.
Myla doesn’t seem to compare her drawings with yours i.e. she doesn’t let your skill intimidate her. When my son Jasper was 6 and 7, he and his father and I drew together a lot. His dad and I were professionals and Jasper one day quit drawing and started asking us to draw for him because he said his drawings weren#t as good as ours. We were horrified and didn’t really know what to do other than stop drawing together. He continued to draw on his own, mostly Pikachu and Star Wars characters, and some of his own. How have you managed to avoid this problem of comparison?
Great question! There was one small point where Myla started to say, “your drawings are much better than mine.” But I would talk to her about how I have drawn for a lot longer than she has, so I have a lot more experience, that’s all. I tell her that whatever you focus on and put your energy into, you get better and better the more you do it (like when she was learning to rollerskate, or walk), and that although she’s great now, she will get better and better the more she does it (if she chooses to do it). I tell that her drawings are already so wonderful — and that many of the kids in her class don’t draw nearly as well as her (something she pointed out…but more in an observant, not arrogant, way)…I tell her that those kids might be putting their energy into something else, like sports, or reading, or gymnastics, and that everyone has something special about them that they put their energy into.
But I think, generally, drawing WITH Myla has given her a great deal of confidence. The drawing games we play together sort of pop up naturally, and have given her confidence. We play one where we start a drawing with, say, two eyes, and the other one adds the head onto it. Then you add another part, and keep taking turns like that. We played another one where we mess up eachother’s drawing on purpose–it’s a fun one: we each draw a bird (or whatever), and then she gets to draw something on mine that messes it up, like people-hands where it’s feet should be or something. And then I draw a snail shell on hers, or something. Another is we take some of our drawings outside, lay them in the grass, and splatter paint all over them.
These are all sort of games that she suggested, that turned out to be pretty fun. I think mostly, just spending time encouraging them to do something good for the sake of it, and not worrying about how “good” it is. I sure hope that helps and that you can all do projects together again!
Your pics are not only amazing but the choices you made are SUPER cool! Especially for a Geek Dad like myself.
Thank you so much!
Oh this is so cool!
I love your sketches. Great work.