I paint a picture with the pen like Norman Mailer

I’m drawing again. I do it for another outlet, although my primary form of expression is writing, I’m first and foremost a visual person. I haven’t been drawing for years, unless it’s for design sketches, which I either execute on Illustrator or commission someone else with real artistic talent to complete. But I’m drawing again.

I sketch idly, playing with colour combinations, sometimes with a plan, sometimes without. This time around too, I’m playing with texture and feeling, using different mediums for different experiences on my skin. I’ve gone from pen and pencil to watercolours, and now I’m on soft pastels. Getting my fingers all in it.

What triggered the need to draw was the storyboarding of a short film that I would like to produce. Working off the narrative, I quickly sketched out in ink the shots that I had imagined corresponding. After the storyboard was completed, I laid it out, looked at it and then went back and re-wrote the original text, and not in a way that made it easier to film. And I haven’t stopped drawing since.

I’m surprised at what’s been happening as a result. Without fail, every single drawing, whether it’s been completed or not, has triggered a written piece that doesn’t necessarily explore the same topics or themes. Sometimes I’ve had to cut short visual expressions to go vomit on to a page/screen what’s built up. I wasn’t expecting this. So now I’ve got a whole bunch of bad sketches to accompany the scraps of paper and incomplete documents that seem to rule my life.

New exercise: plan a bunch of drawings that explore one particular theme or narrative, and use them for a series of related texts. Not that I need any new projects to work on, but I’m going to integrate this with one of the larger projects currently in action.


PS – someone commented on the amount of posts I had up. It’s because I’ve been spending way more time than usual writing again. I’m happy, I’m prolific. So by default, there are more posts.

Title reference: “Get By” – Talib Kweli, 2002.

Leave a Reply