If you don't do it every day, you forget why you do it

Thursday, February 19, 2009
If you don't do it every day, you forget why you do itdoodle

This doodle is in league with my doodling philosophy: all good art requires is creating lots of art over a long enough period of time. This philosophy has been going around the internet recently through excerpts from Art and Fear (most recently via Kottke).

The book presents a study where pottery students are divided into two groups. The first group is graded on how much pottery they produce. The second group is instructed to create only one piece of pottery, and is graded on the perfection of that piece. The quantity group churned out plenty of pieces and learned from their mistake. The quality group, which sat around theorizing and thinking how best to create the pottery, ended up with lumps of clay.

While the experiment isn't exactly scientific (at least from the exerpts--as soon as the book's on Kindle, it'll go in my queue): We're not told the skill of the students. For beginners, this would be the obvious outcome. But for advanced students, perhaps with more time and thought, the results would be better. Thinking and planning doesn't always hurt.

For me, I realized that doodling as much as possible, and forgetting about quality or the perfect Horrible has made the creation process much more rewarding. This is a long way of excusing the current Horrible. It was another quickly drawn and titled doodle that sat in my queue for a while before I posted it.

I always hoped to apply my creation philosophy to my writing. I still haven't figured out how to turn off the filter and be happy with the words I scratch while I'm scratching.

Thanks to the magic of computer art, even my crappy doodles can be tolerable. I hope you've realized that the secret to my doodles is in the pen stroke. Take a closer look: the pen is splotty, with variable thickness and uneven lines. It makes even poorly drawn lines seem slightly artistic. And as long as I draw many poorly drawn lines, I can one day point to one or two Horribles to claim they're artistic.