I’m ALWAYS drawing – I LOVE to draw, and I had this old idea waiting around for that perfect rainy day – which turned out to be Saturday, November 1st. So I went to Facebook that morning and posted this question:
And I waited.
One of my favorite quotes is by Robert Frost: “no surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” In other words, if you are not laughing or crying or being emotionally affected by your work while you are making it then the same will probably be true of your audience. So how do you make sure you’re always “being surprised?” One way is to just let someone else tell you what to do.
Denise: “draw the view out your window”
I knew I would have to draw quickly and post right away. I wanted to make sure the person who made the request would likely still be on Facebook and have a chance to see it, comment, like, etc.
Maya: “dream emotion hangover”
— From a real dream of mine.
To keep things flowing I made up a few rules: All drawings would be done with a black Sharpie and a single color Design marker. I wouldn’t get too detailed – I’d keep it really basic.
Max: “someone that’s gonna have a blast”
Another rule was to try to make sure it was always an interesting or surprising reply. Literal interpretations would be boring. After that, the only thing left of the “game” would be for people to judge how well I drew it — I certainly didn’t want THAT so I’d try to make sure each one had a little something unexpected about it.
Sean: “draw misty for me”
— You know the movie?
Catherine: “draw yourself taking a food break”
Actually, those two were kind of literal. Anyway, the requests kept coming.
Amy: “draw whatever you want”
— my typewriter Miron: “naked cowboy”
People would try to stump me: Alex: “the eternal struggle of good vs. evil”
Catherine: “chaos tamed”
Christina “the future”
People made drawing puns:
Buffy: “draw attention to yourself”
Charles “draw your sword”
Heather: “draw blood”
— That one was easy.
AND some friends got weirdly specific:
Michael: “the ebola virus being infected by fox news”
Adam: “a headlight on a north-bound train, shinin’ it’s light through the cool colorado rain”
I had no idea that it would go on ALL DAY (11am to 7:30pm). There are many other drawings not shown here and aside from a quick lunch, I was pretty much chained to my desk the entire time. It was fun. It was mentally exhausting.
Jay: “your favorite song”
— It’s true. The music part of my brain came online in the 80s
THE BEST PART of all of this was how many people told me that they enjoyed scrolling through the thread. Some returned again and again during the day to see what else was posted. Friends played games with their kids trying to guess what the next one would be – explaining or wondering what the drawings meant. AND, a number of people asked if I would do it again the next day – or some other time.
Well, maybe. I might do it again if another perfect rainy day comes up. Or maybe i’ll do something else. Something new. Something surprising.
John: “draw a conclusion”