This week I adopted the discipline of making a daily drawing, something that I have done on and off through the years. But the difference is that this time I have been sharing my creations each day on social media. Up until now the sharing of my daily doodlings has been an occasional thing but I’m endeavouring to pull back the curtain on my creative process a little bit more.
I cannot rest, I must draw, however poor the result, and when I have a bad time come over me it is a stronger desire than ever.
Drawing is something that is akin to a spiritual practice for me. A meditative act that centres me and brings my scattered thoughts into focus. As when I’m painting, I often lose all awareness of time passing when my pencil is in my hand – a state of mind that Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi termed flow, which he describes as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.” (Interview for Wired magazine 1996)
All aglow in the work.
So I begin my working day with the creation of a small drawing. Before I check emails or even switch on my laptop, I sit at my desk with the obligatory cup of tea, pick up my pencil and begin. This simple creative act has been transformative to my days. Now, instead of getting bogged down with admin or distracted by something interesting online, my work begins with quiet focus and the making of a new thing.
Create. Not for the money. Not for the fame. Not for the recognition. But for the pure joy of creating something and sharing it.
A note about the drawings:
I have been drawing on 6″ x 4.5″ Indian cotton rag, a lovely textured paper which is recycled, handmade and a pleasure to work on. I’ll be continuing to share my workings daily on Instagram and Twitter for those who wander that way, but I’ll also regularly post a selection on here for those who don’t.