Creative Process – Part One The First

As promised, I’m going to intermittently post not just about what I’ve done or am doing or intend to do but also offer up some insights into how things clatter and bubble inside this rat cage laboratory sometimes referred to as my brain.

Today’s episode of Creative Process will touch on my obsessive need to sketch out everything as I work on it. I think best with pen in hand and whilst doodling or expanding visually on the thoughts or conversation seizing my attention at that moment. A lot of people do this. A lot of people are better illustrators than I am. When I apply myself and take the time I know I’m pretty good in a number of illustrative styles and in a wide variety of media – but I am, at heart, a lazy and impatient lout so most of what pours forth from my tortured fingers looks very scrabbly and abstract; but that’s okay since sketches such as these are never really intended as finished works for public consumption, instead acting as touchstones along the path of thinking things through and (sometimes) as reference points to be returned to as any given project reaches maturity and I inevitably find myself standing (metaphorically) alone in an empty space wondering how the fuck I arrived here and what was I thinking?!

There are endless notebooks and file folders stuffed with excessive introspective words and drawings laid upon paper by mine hand. Whenever I have cause to return to these I am always amazed at how the sketches evoke not just the ideas being considered but also my physical and emotional condition at the moments when those lines of ink seeped into the paper – a visual time machine of sorts, I guess.

Back in 2006 I was blogging and looking at ways to do things a bit differently. I explored a lot of options – video blogging (vlogging) and podcasting and livestreaming and publishing daily (or weekly) comics that would substitute for just and endless blather of words (like this page you are now reading) and, hopefully, provide an engaging means of finding an audience and sharing whatever ideas might be infesting my skull.

Those who know me know around this time I was busy every morning crafting little comics for my son, Henry, and sticking them in his lunch bag all to help him through his school day. There are almost 2000 of these comics in a bin, waiting to be digitized and posted online. Someday that will happen – yes, Ben, someday it will happen – but that day is not today.

Here’s one of them:


But in recounting the story of the creation of those comics I stumbled on some photos of other little “thinking sketches” and remembered how I had been contemplating putting out a regular comic online.

Never happened – mostly because I thought my drawings sucked but also because I doubted I had anything consistently of worth to post like that. But what’s neat about these sketches is how I was thinking out loud to myself while exploring the form.

This lead to the creation of Threedie Ceegie which jumped out of my head on one of those afternoons where I was alone at the Rhino and just quickly started scrawling out on a single page a series of comic panels. I later scanned them, cleaned them up and added some colour.

Back in 2006 all of these were scrawled on a single lined page - took about 20 minutes - whilst drinking waaay too much beer at the Rhino. Click to see them all.

Again, this never emerged as any kind of finished work but it did prompt me to try some mini semi-animated comics that were a little less scraggly and a lot more bland and ultimately not worth continuing.

Here’s one:

The rest are here. Don’t bother.

I ended up falling back on video production as I knew it from my days working in the television industry. Doesn’t mean I won’t be pursuing other illustrative projects – in fact I am, but very different from any of this scribbling. There are always a lot of false roads when pursuing ideas but the ideas themselves never fully die – they just get set aside and, perhaps, later provide influence for something else that creeps along in its own petty pace and maybe – just maybe – escapes from the clutches of the artist to find a receptive audience who then want more.

Someday, maybe – someday.

Regardless, I enjoy thinking with the ink that flows from the ends of my fingers. Storyboards, thumbnails along the margins of a script, full production renderings, barroom napkin scrawls, even little doodles upon the palm of my hand, all add to the internal dialogue and to the explication for others of what might reside within my alleged mind; the visual forms scribbled upon a page (no matter how crudely) serve to fuel further thought and provide focus to the core idea.

At least that’s what I think.

Of course, I’d probably be able to explain it better to you if I could just sit with you and draw a picture.

Someday, maybe – someday.


P.S. I’ll do more on drawing and storyboards and shit like that at a later date – but I think the next installment of this crap will deal more with writing. Dunno when that will be.

Comments are closed.