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drawing Fiction and Poetry Hundred Heroes process Writing

One Hundred Heroes – A Daily Creative Practice

Last Friday, friend Tonya came up with an idea to reinvigorate our creative processes.  We’re both creative souls and require daily nurturing, input and output.  The idea was to work on 3 small areas of creativity because, as we discovered together, that the creative flow that comes about from actually doing the work is totally transferrable.  In other words, if you are stuck as a musician, then perhaps work on a painting.  Or if you’re having trouble finishing your Great American Novel, then perhaps it’s a daily doodle or restoring an old chair.

So I chose as my 3 small daily practices drawing, writing and reading fiction (which I never used to give myself permission to do!)

Writing Everyday

For my writing, I’ve been working on short stories – at least 250 words.  I’ve also started coming up with a list of 10 daily ideas for my stories thanks to the inspiration of this article by James Altucher.

Reading Fiction

I read fiction by Dean Koontz, Edward Bloor, Ernest Hemingway, and Daniel Defoe.

Drawing A Hundred Heroes

This past week I did a daily drawing of one of my “hundred heroes.”  I’ve had so many wonderful role models, mentors and teachers over the years, some who I personally knew and others who I’ve only touched from afar.

Here’s who I drew:

Robin Williams Day 1 – Robin Wiliams

The world is still in mourning for his loss.  I’ll never forget how hard and loud I laughed when watching Mork and Mindy as a teenager.  My neighbors must have wondered about the wild cackling coming out of the house.

 

 

 

IMG_2381Day 2 – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

It was as if the world was in black and white before I read One Hundred Years Of Solitude.  Since then I’ve read almost all his books and was led into a world of magic realism and writing of others like Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Salman Rushdie and Isabel Allende among others.  It also helps that my late mother-in-law gave me this book and said, “Now that you are dating my daughter, you need to read this.  He is the national treasure of Colombia.”

And what a first line for a novel: “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”

 

 

Good eeevening...
Good eeevening…

Day 3 – Alfred Hitchcock

I never went to film school, but watching Hitch’s films makes me feel like I should sign up today.  So wonderfully artful and chilling!  I also love the music scores by his many wonderful collaborators like Bernard Hermann and Alex North.  Did you know that Saul Bass (another hero) actually conceived, storyboarded and directed the Psycho shower scenes?

 

 

 

 

Steve Jobs, one if my hundred heroes
Steve Jobs, one if my hundred heroes

Day 4 – Steve Jobs

Without Steve, where would I be?  Where would we all be?  I’ve been using a Mac since 1985 and went to one of the first MacWorld conventions.  I’m an Apple fanboy if there ever was one.  Thank you Steve for all you have done and continue to from somewhere…

I had some trouble with the eyes.  I also realized that I made Steve look a bit like Freddie Mercury (another hero!)

 

 

 

 

Being peace
Being peace

Day 5 – Thich Nhat Hanh

I was trying to sign up for an acting class in the early 1990’s with a famous teacher in NYC.  She had every prospective student come in and meet with her first and then gave us a required reading list.  I thought, “how weird and presumptuous!”  On this list were many books about self-growth, identity, new age stuff and The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh.  This book changed my life and continues to blossom within me.  Years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to go on a silent retreat with “Thay” (which is what we call him – it means teacher.)

By the way, I never took the acting class and can’t even remember her name.  I thank you wherever you are!

 

I’m a self taught artist so I know there are some technical issues in these drawings such as proportion and balance.  Anyway, it’s a daily practice and I think I’m getting better!

What practices do you do to keep your creative edge honed?  I’d love to know.  Share them in the comments below.

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drawing Hundred Heroes

In Steve We Trust

Steve Jobs.  Part of a daily series of drawings of my hundred heroes.

Steve Jobs, one of my hundred heroes
Steve Jobs, one of my hundred heroes
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drawing Hundred Heroes

Hitch

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Today is day 3 in my new series of daily drawings for sanity.  I’m drawing portraits of some of my heroes from all walks of life.

Enjoy!

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drawing Hundred Heroes

Gabriel Garcia-Marquez

One of my all time favorite opening lines in literature.

“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

Part of my daily drawing therapy/practice.

 

Gabo, aka Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Gabo
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drawing Hundred Heroes

O captain! My captain!

 

Robin Williams, first in a series of daily drawings of my hundred heroes.Robin Williams

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art drawing lettering

Hand Lettering BKLYN Days 6 & 7

More fun in the world of hand lettering.

Step 1

I wanted to get a flowing ribbon curve shape.

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NYC could be on a fist, like on…brass knuckles!


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The finish

Hand lettered drawing of BKLYN NYC

 

And then this morning I made this one in a whimsical mood 

A whimsical hand lettering of Brooklyn New York City

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art drawing lettering

A New view of BKLYN – Hand Lettering Day 5

Something about this makes me feel like satellite dishes and radio towers and cellphone monitoring.  BKLYN is an urban zen-tangle!

BKLYN-day5 Hand Lettering Zentangle

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art drawing lettering

Energy arises – day 4 of hand lettered drawings of Brooklyn

So as I started this one at 7am on Sunday, it was like an old vine arising from a sturdy branch.  The waves of energy were coming up and blooming around.

 

Hand lettered Brooklyn

 

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art drawing lettering

Hand Lettered Brooklyn – Day 3

I was thinking of my favorite time of day when the light is magical in the periwinkle of twilight.  I didn’t quite capture the silhouettes but maybe tomorrow?

Day 3 of my Hand Lettering of Brooklyn NYC

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art drawing lettering

Hand Lettered Brooklyn Day 2

Feeling a bit like I need some grass and sun and warmth. What a winter it has been!

Brooklyn, NYC, day 2

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art drawing lettering

Hand Lettering Brooklyn, Day 1

Okay so here’s the first of a series.  It’s not so great, but it was sure fun and meditative.

 

Hand lettering of Brooklyn NYC
My first one
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art drawing joyful living lettering

Giving Myself Permission…

Or Releasing The Fears And Rules Of Others To Get Back To Your True Self

I’ve recently realized I need to draw/doodle  for my own sanity.  Back in high school, I was a pretty good visual artist and actually had to choose art or music as a career path.

I chose music, but I’ve felt something amiss in not drawing anymore.   I didn’t feel like I had permission to waste time doodling or drawing – there was work to be done!    [Note:  You could insert any activity here really: drawing or painting or writing songs or anything you passionately love.]  But yet, it was like a part of me kept bugging me, like a piece of grit in my gut that was forming itself into a pearl.

Cartoons

I’ve always envied the life of the independent cartoonist.  I was never really into comic books like Spiderman or Marvel stuff.  Instead, I was attracted to people like Bill Watterson (of Calvin and Hobbes fame) and Gary Larson (The Far Side)  who could command their own worlds and enjoyed international fame and fortune.  But problem is, I couldn’t really see myself writing and drawing my own comics.

A Seed Is Planted

Years ago, I read Hugh Mcleod‘s amazing book Ignore Everybody.  I was so envious, jealous even!  How did he escape the big ad agency and claim his own life!    At the time I was still involved with interactive advertising world.   And to think that Hugh was not even an Art Director, but a Copywriter who drew these crude cartoons!  Though I didn’t do anything about it, it planted a seed deep within me.

 

 

ZenTangling

About a year and a half ago, I came across a book about this process called Zentangle which had this entire process of making simple abstract art from rules.  It was like a drawing meditation and I started to play around with it and found I really liked it.  I also got to buy myself some really cool pens and pencils!

This was fun, but it still felt a little bit like I was wasting time and needed to go and do real work.  It’s amazing what your previous programming does to you.  I was hearing the voices of authority in my head from parents, teachers, society, etc.   But, it felt so fun!  And, I was only doing a little bit each day.  It’s like my version of sitting on the couch watching television, which I don’t really do.

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SketchNoting

Then I came across this great book, the Sketchnote Handbook about note-taking using drawings!   This was so cool!  It’s kind of like giving myself permission to draw because I was doing some thinking work at the same time.  (Or I was note-taking at a meeting or I was learning a new subject.)  This also re-awakened in me an awareness of hand lettering and calligraphy, something I used to know about back when I was a teenager.

Starting to feel a little inspired, I bought this great book called Creative Lettering, Techniques and Tips from Top Artists by Jenny Doh.  It was actually hard for me to justify doing this, so I think I used some points to purchase this book.  And what a breath of fresh air!  It is a review of beautiful lettering by many different artists.  I loved it so much, I started to add little lettering features to my daily list of lesson plans for my music students.

Here’s some examples.

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Then about a week ago, I was in a coffee shop and came across an artist sketching some beautiful abstract designs in his notebook.  It turns out, he does this just for fun too.  He has a real job in technology, but you could tell this really turned him on.  We spoke a long time about ideas, letting go, pens, paper and giving yourself permission.

It seems that we often don’t honor our true nature.  Instead of doing what feels good and right, I was trying to do the “right thing,” which paradoxically is not so.    The other thing I haven’t been doing enough of is writing fiction. But that’s another long post!

I Give In

So I’m going to start a series of hand lettered designs.  I live in Brooklyn and it’s apparently the center of the Universe, according to those who live here. 🙂    So stay tuned for my series of hand drawn Brooklyn.   I’m feeling better already.  It’s like going through life with one arm tied behind your back.  Now to get the kinks out and get the blood flowing again!

 

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art drawing lettering

Friday October 11,2013

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Thank god it’s Friday. A long long week. How does Obama do it? Or anyone in power? It must be the intoxicating mix of absolute purpose and power that gives a lift in the body, mind and heart.