This year many of my facebook friends started a “Doodle a Day” project on January first, but as I wasn’t planning ahead for it I waited till February to start myself. When it comes to performance art (puppetry) I tend to be of a “mash-up culture” mindset (for both the stuff I write, as well as the stuff Treelobsters writes for us) and those mashups are my “style”. But that starts from some level of ability with the basic tools of the trade (though that may be up for some debate as well I guess). When it comes to drawing/painting/etc I only have a cursory knowledge of the basic techniques (and most of that is thanks to my grandmother who had me in oil painting classes as a young kid) but pointedly (in my mind anyway) I don’t have a technique of my own. That style of “limitations of my ability” plays into the things I create, including puppets, more so than it does in a performance.
My ongoing internal discussion of Art vs art has started to settle around the artist having a vision they are realizing, and/or a perspective on the subject they are portraying. When it comes to live theater at least, I’ve grown more comfortable with having told a story (or made a joke) in the way I want, even if the physical objects aren’t exactly up to my standards. From how my mind works, I feel I need a basic set of skills to be able to create something that at least captures my own vision rather than being simply that style based on my limitations of technique. So, when starting this Doodle a Day project I decided one of the things I wanted to do was start from my mimic tendencies to get better at the basic pen/pencil techniques and hopefully find a style along the way. This is something I know I did as a kid, especially all the comic books in high-school where I tried to re-draw covers (now that I think of it, I wonder if some of my scale issues have to do with that practice being during the 90s when misshapen Leifeld characters were prominent).
With that in mind, here are some of my favorite, and least favorite, pictures from the first month and a half. I started with Brian Froud as inspiration and have moved on to Dave McKean. Most of them I started with an image from Froud or McKean and simply attempted to copy it using either just pencils or pens or sharpies. The quality of the results changes drastically when I don’t start from something else.