Our August 2020 Drawing Together session was hosted by artist and educator Sarah Leavitt. She is the creator of Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me as well as Agnes, Murderess. She is a lecturer in the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. You can learn more about her work on her website, https://sarahleavitt.com and her Instagram, @Sarah_leav.
In an effort to guide us toward the workshop’s focus, Sarah gave us a wonderful presentation on how her work has evolved over the past ten years.
Sarah asked us to write down the following (for the moments when you are doing this exercise):
- a thing you see
- a thing you hear
- another thing you see
- another thing you hear
Then we were asked to write down:
- something we are thinking
- something we feel in our heart
- something we feel in our body
If you are with others, you can share these responses. In our Zoom workshop, we all typed these in the chat and then looked at what others wrote.
Sarah then showed comics from cartoonists that she admires. The comics she features in the video below are employing exaggeration, distortion, and/or abstraction – rather than representational images – to creatively engage with the text, as opposed to simply illustrating it. She hopes that the words you wrote in the opening exercise, in combination with inspiration from these abstract comics, would create in your mind, “a stew of inspiration.”
For the first drawing exercise, here are the instructions:
- On a piece of paper, draw three panels, as Sarah said, “of equal size that are large enough to play in.”
- Now, consider the three words from your second list made above (or you can mix in words provided by others).
- Fill those three panels with non-representational images that are inspired by the words – shapes, colors, lines – that respond to and convey the words with images. You can respond to one word over all three panels, or all three. Up to you. Try not to use pencil, draw directly to ink.
For the second exercise, here are the instructions:
Create a character based on three words from your first list. Or three words from either list you wrote down in the warmup.
If you want to share your drawings or responses more widely, and see those from participants in the workshop, you can use the hashtag #DrawingTogetherGM on social media.
Hope to see you for our next Drawing Together on September 27th at 1pm EST!
To get added to the monthly invite list, email MK through her website, comicnurse.com