August 7, 2014

One Minute Magic

BRRRRRRING!!! BRRRINGGGGG!! DOOT! DOOT! DOOT!  That's the sound of the alarm that goes off when I say "Ohhh I'm not good at that" as an excuse and pops in saying


and reminds me to take the opportunity to adjust my perspective on the situation.  So, this alarm was going off, because I received an email from my pal Hen at Rad and Hungry, asking if I would ever consider offering "quick portraits" of a loose and spontaneous nature, as a fun experiment to work in a different manner and attract different customers.  I had lots of responses about how I NEVER do anything quick and am incapable of doing anything other than obsessing over portraits for hours or days on end.  But then this alarm went off.  And I heard another little noise.  It was coming from these giant boxes of luxurious sketch markers on my desk!  They were crying because all they were doing was sitting there looking gorgeous.  Like many artists, I hoard lots of lovely supplies and feel immense pressure at the thought of USING them, especially if they're something new I haven't worked with.  What if I accidentally made something UN-awesome?!

Well, clearly you can see that this alarm was necessary.  I decided it was time to put on my Grown Up Professional Artist Pants and try something new.  I have piles of paper scraps on my desk, so I cut them to the size of photos you might get from a photobooth and took to the interwebs! I asked my followers on Instagram to send me their selfies and I gave myself about a minute to draw each picture IN INK with no revisions and then I colored them with my bodacious markers.  This was the first batch:

Let me tell you, as someone who definitely identifies as a perfectionist, it is nerve-wracking not to be able to erase anything!  It was LABORIOUSLY DIFFICULT for me to let the drawing "happen" and not obsess over making it look like an actual likeness of the inspiration photo.  However, this was TERRIBLY fun.  Everyone seemed to get a kick out of them too.

For additional practice I went to this flickr group I joined FOREVER ago and hadn't yet participated in.  I inflicted my one minute exercises on some pleasant strangers and accidentally made a few remarkably accurate portraits, and a few, um, something else.


It sure is satisfying to line them all up together in a little collection!  With that in mind, I returned to the world of Instagram with a request for pictures of people eating, which are A) usually really awkward photos, and B) difficult expressions to draw!  The results had me laughing so hard I had to go lie down.  I drew ten lovely ladies and one little boy. And a baby drinking a beer.

I picked some celebrity victims too, while I waited for more people to send me pictures.


I still can't stop laughing!  I consider this a triumph so far.  I still adore drawing (and seeing!) realistic portraits but this is something ELSE, a certain kind of magic that happens with certain rules and limited choices.  By popular request, I will now be offering these services on demand in my Etsy shop starting at $10.  I will also continue to post lots on Instagram, so follow along to get in on the fun!

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