Sketchbook Club: Illustrated Maps

This week I discussed some amazing books on illustrated map making:
You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination by Katharine Harmon
The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography by Katharine Harmon
Plotted: A Literary Atlas by Andrew DeGraff

and don’t forget to join the great new Sketchbook Skool kourse, Let’s Make a Map!

Study Hall: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

I love this week’s klass in Exploring with one of my idols, Felix Scheinberger. I made a bit of a mess with my homework but then was inspired by an old spaghetti Western. I hope you had fun with your assignment.

My new movie: The Art of A Fan

A few years ago, I had great fun making a series of Sketchbook Films with my old pal and genius, Tommy Kane. After bugging him for months, I finally got Tom to join me in making a brand-new film about Marcy Singer.

I first met Marcy when I taught a class at the Open Center in New York and apparently I gave her an idea that led to an enormous project. I said, “why not draw while you watch TV? Just use the DVR to freeze the frame and sketch what’s on the screen.”

An ardent hockey fan, she decided to draw every single game the NY Rangers play and has now filled many sketchbook with wonderful drawings and watercolors. It’s a great story about how drawing changes how you see things and deepens your experience and your passion.

On not drawing

It happens. You ought to write something, draw something, not eat something, but ya just aren’t feeling it. Your New Year resolutions have petered out — less than two weeks into January.  Are you a bad person? Worthless? Is the monkey 100% right?

‘Course not. Ronnie Lawlor (who is drawing monster, by the by) and I talk about why not.

(Happy Friday 13th! It’s your luck day.)

How to draw when it’s ccccold.

Cripes, but it was cold here this week.  To boot, we were all coming down with some sort of flu, but the cold even had our dogs snuggling into the same bed, deep under their blankets. Then there was snow and salt and muck and, ugh. It finally eased up today, bit still, what the hell, where’s global warming when you need it?

Anyway, I was fortunate to have chatted about how to cope with all this mess earlier with my Ronnie Lawlor.  Here ya go:

A Drawing a Day

One of the hardest things about starting something new is developing a habit that will help you carry on. Even though I’ve been drawing for quite a while now, I occasionally need some sort of kick in the butt to get back on track.

Here’s what works for me: a reason to be consistent. It could be a absorbing project I devise that keeps me engaged — so I am eager to keep working at it. It could be a collaboration with other people who I don’t want to let down — so I keep showing up and making stuff.

We’re about to kick off a new undertaking that combines both. It’s called A Drawing A Day. The first phase of it is a Sketchbook Skool kourse, taught by a teacher I admire enormously: Veronica Lawlor. (If you took our kourse, Storytelling, you remember her amazing, epic demo in which she made over 100 drawings of a pair of dancers.)

We’re beginning this kourse on the first Monday of the January so the year starts off right. Every day Ronnie will do a demo for us and each Friday we’ll go on a virtual field trip. We’ll get encouraging emails every day to keep you on track and engaged. Like all of our new kourses, this will initially be a “Community” kourse, meaning we’re all going to do it together in January, supporting and encouraging each other to keep going.

I think it’s gonna be great. We put a lot of work in to producing this kourse and it’s gorgeous, exciting, smart and fun. Kinda like Ronnie.

That’s not all, though. We’re also launching a year-long project to really make this new habit stick. A year of prompts, interviews, demos and ideas. We’ll be sharing encouragement through a special Facebook group and on other forms of social media. It’ll be a great adjunct to the kourse.

As I said, the kourse begins on January 2nd, but 1) you can sign up now and 2) we will make the kourse available again after January so you can sign up whenever you want and take the kourse immediately.

A Drawing a Day is gonna make 2017 a beautiful, creative year. I can’t wait.

Wanna join me and Ronnie and the rest of Sketchbook Skool? Click here.