In case you were unable to join us for our fourth Drawing Together event, here is a recap of the exercises we did together.
Our host was Michael Green, GMIC board member, physician, bioethicist, and artist.
We started the session with a fun warm-up exercise frequently used by Lynda Barry: Drawing with your eyes closed.
Set a timer for one minute, hover your pen over your blank paper, close your eyes and don’t peek until the one-minute timer goes off.
In one minute each:
- Draw a giraffe
- Draw a mermaid
- Draw Batman throwing up
For extra fun, watch Michael do these kinds of exercises with Lynda Barry!
Here is the rest of the exercise that Michael hosted:
“Now we turn to our more serious exercise for this week. With so many staggering events going on in the world, it can be hard to wrap your head around it all:
- A global pandemic
- The worst unemployment since the great depression
- Reckoning with widespread inequity and systemic racism
- Politics! Brexit! US elections!
- Global warming (Siberia was >100 degrees Fahrenheit this week!)
Whew – that’s a lot to process. This increased chaos in the world gives rise to much uncertainty. While it may be hard to make sense of it all, perhaps we can find some answers to our questions by accessing parts of ourselves that we might not dialogue with on a regular basis.
As comic artist Meg-John Barker has described, we all have a plurality of selves within us that respond to the world in very different ways. For instance, a part of us can be happy, another angry. another embarrassed, another frightened, another sad – perhaps all at the same time.
Humans have a tendency to listen to only one of those selves at a time, like the frightened one or the angry one, for example. This exercise is intended to give the other selves an opportunity to speak and be heard.
Let’s give it a try and see where it takes us. The following exercise is modified from Anders Nilsen’s Sunday New York Times comic.
For this exercise, you will need a few pieces of paper and at least two colors of drawing implement – markers/pencils/paints, whatever your chosen medium may be.
To start fold a piece of paper in in half lengthwise, and draw a border around it to frame the
We’re going to spend the next 3-4 minutes doing the following:
1. On the left side of the page, draw a simple character that represents you using line, shape or color. It shouldn’t look like you and it doesn’t even need to have a face. It can be abstract or symbolic; maybe a silhouette. Take about a minute to do this.
2. Now, on the right side of the page, using a different color or medium, draw another simple character that represents a part of you that hasn’t been getting a lot of attention lately. Maybe it’s your wise self; or your future self who returned with something to tell you; or even a childish part of you. Again, it can be abstract of symbolic, not realistic. This second character can be facing the first one, or looking up, or down, or facing away. If you wish, you can use your non-dominant hand to draw this character. Take another minute to do this.
3. Next, have one of these characters ask the other character a question, any question. Have the other character answer that question. A conversation has begun.
4. Using what you’ve just drawn as the first panel, continue the conversation by drawing more panels and having the two characters dialogue for the next 9 minutes, setting a timer and spending 3 minutes on each panel. Continue working until time has elapsed or you run out of paper or until something interesting happens and the conversation seems to come to a close.”
If you’d like to share your work from this session, please do so on social media using the hashtag #DrawingTogetherGM.
As was mentioned last week, these gatherings will now be held monthly, and we are looking for input as to when they will be scheduled.
You can vote for your choice of times here: https://brock.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3Via9Yehr5NPPgx