August 26, 2008

Everyone can draw!

I believe everyone can draw, just pick up a pencil and make a mark.
When I have an idea going around in my head I try to capture it in my notebooks. Little doodles, character sketches, snippets of conversations. Nearly everyone I know doodles when they are on the phone or taking notes. Children are so comfortable making marks on paper. I know from doing workshops that the older children get, the more self conscious they become. A four year old will not worry about what the other children think of his drawing but the eight year old will. They will say, 'I'm no good at drawing, I can't do it.' But you can. Everyone can. Even stick figures radiate charm.
The UK has The Big Draw. It has one aim to get everyone drawing. The Big Draw proves that drawing can be an enjoyable public activity as well as a private passion. It is inspired by the visionary Victorian artist and writer, John Ruskin. His mission was not to teach people how to draw, but how to see.
I have been mulling over this one for a while, Ireland has lots of book festivals and events that celebrate literary events but a HUGE gap exists for celebrating and encouraging drawing. Not sure where to start on this one, you need it to be in public spaces: Museums, Art Galleries. You also need it to be very accessable to all ages, you need funding. Anyone want to help me?


Susan said...

I've been thinking about this over the summer, because of a project I'm working on. So I *LOVE* this idea of yours.

The Carers Group I volunteer for is compiling an anthology, and I'm asking for stories, poetry and *ART*, including word art like calligraphy. I would love more art for this book, and I've said that doodles and waiting-room scribbles are ideal, as well as anything else people have drawn.

I'm getting tons of poetry, some stories...not a lot of art.

So, I've been hoping to put together a sort of Doodlefest for local caregivers, where we cover tables in paper and put out buckets of pencils, crayons, brushes and anything: bring the kids, the grannies, the friends, and go mad!

When I mention it, everyone suddenly goes shy about participating. I think it's a shame. I think I'll have to ambush them with it somehow.

If you've got any ideas, we're at . We work with other community groups in the northwest, and I'd love to see them get started all together on such a thing---it sounds like a lot of fun!

Niamh Sharkey said...

Yes I love the idea of a doddlefest- great name by the way! People have such a fear of drawing,(worse than writers block) they seem very reluctant to doodle or draw because they think that it is not going to be any good.

Some good ideas that might loosen your group. There are no rules, loosen up... take a line for a walk on a huge piece of paper. Make different marks, scribble. Use different pens. Draw stick figures. My kids have a great book called the doodle book, half finished pictures in black and white that you fill in.

Big rolls of wallpaper rolled out on a big table could be good, with lots of charcoal, pencils and markers. I have used this at a workshop, everyone draws together so less fear.

Another great thing is little pieces of A5 card that they can draw something that happened to them. You could use word triggers like memory, feeling, happy, sad, family.

Or mini self portraits again on tiny pieces of card, stick figures accepted!

If this is all too complicated finger painting on tiny canvases is lovely, feels great and is a messy fun thing to do.

When were you thinking of doing your doodlefest?
There is a great book by Quentin Blake Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered. Loads of great ideas in there.