The Drawing Together community gathered on Sunday, June 25th to celebrate our 50th session together. Our host was MK Czerwiec, aka Comic Nurse.
The session started with a brief history of Drawing Together. The following description was taken from a forthcoming book chapter that will feature our wonderful community. More details to come when the book is closer to publication.
OUR DRAWING TOGETHER ORIGIN STORY by Shelley Wall
In July 2020, the conference was to be held—in person, of course—in Toronto, Canada. When it became clear that we would have to cancel it due to the pandemic, what we mourned was not just the lost opportunity to share ideas and learn about new comics and comics-based initiatives, but the loss of the profound sense of community that emerges at these gatherings. The online “Drawing Together” sessions sprang from our desire to provide that sense of community in some other form. The stress, grief, and isolation of the pandemic, lockdown, and coincident social and political turmoil (such as the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder) made the need to come together, to create, and to reflect, more urgent than ever. Through April, May, and June 2020, we met weekly over Zoom; since then, we have continued to meet once a month. Some participants have been with the Drawing Together group since the beginning, and newcomers continue to join us.
You can see all of the previous Drawing Together sessions in our archive.
For our warmup exercise, MK relied on a Lynda Barry & DT favorite, the scribble monster, but with a twist. Take all the time you need to complete the following exercise.
1. MAKE A SCRIBBLE
2. TURN IT INTO A MONSTER
3. DRAW THAT MONSTER AS A TODDLER
4. ADD SPEECH AND/OR THOUGHT BUBBLES. WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO SAY TO ONE ANOTHER?
For the body of our session, MK focused our work on the content of an eight-week online course she finished this spring, Yale’s “The Science of Well Being” by Dr. Laurie Santos via Coursera. The main elements of this course are summarized in this wonderful eight-minute video. As you watch, take a few notes on concepts and/or images that inspire, interest, intrigue you, especially ones to which you have a visual response.
Now, based on your notes from above, draw for ten minutes on whatever you had a reaction to in the video above. Feel free to go back and watch again, but the key concepts she talks about are these two lists:
We shared our drawings, and you are welcome to as well, on social media as well, using the #DrawingTogetherGM.
To close, MK shared what Dr. Santos calls “The GI Joe Fallacy.”
Finally, Dr. Santos hosts a podcast called The Happiness Lab that MK highly recommended.