This seems obvious now but something that I didn't really realize before is... in order to have a (good?) blog you have to do a lot of stuff! And I'm not talking about the the tech stuff or the promotion stuff, I'm talking about the stuff you need to do in order to have good content to blog about in the first place. You have to get off the couch and live life.
Ideas rarely come out of thin air, you get your ideas from somewhere. Whether I'm trying to think of ideas for drawings or for blog posts they come from somewhere. The only way I know of getting ideas for either is to fill the well... to read, to travel, to exercise, to be outside, to listen, to play, to do stuff so that I then have something to draw or blog about. Generally I think no one wants a blog post about me sitting on the couch watching football all day yesterday.
My intention early on with this project was to get off the internet and make something. Now I would add to that and say get off the internet and do something. Then make something. And don't come back to the internet until you have done both. Without the doing and the making, what will you share about when you're back here? Because experiences and art and craft and stories, that's the good stuff. That's the kind of stuff I'm interested in reading and seeing online.
Here's the behind the scenes info on today's sketch. I posted it on Instagram this morning with the caption: possibly my spirit animal. So where did this idea come from?
Well I scored about 10 years worth of old National Geographic magazines from a neighbor several months ago. They are all stacked up against a wall waiting for something great to happen with them. The other day I grabbed one and flipped through it. I ran across an article about the wombat and they were described as "sedentary, nocturnal, and anti-social."
Also lately I've been reading Spirit Animals with my kids at night. We've just begun book 1 and we're all really into it. My son asked me what my spirit animal would be. I came up with a few ideas but nothing that really fit me. So when I saw that description of the wombat, I thought that's me!
I think this is an idea that could be taken so much further. It could easily become a series. I could draw other people's spirit animals. I could draw more of my own which could lead to research about lots of animals and their characteristics. I could draw what happens when I call upon my spirit animal. There's lots of possibilities, once you touch on an idea that interests you.
1996 national geographic + kids' novel + discussion = sketchbook idea and possible new project
People often describe creativity as making a connections and that's exactly how this idea came about. I think it's important to note the discussion in the equation, without it I probably wouldn't have thought of the idea. Usually I find I need to talk or write about things in order to bring ideas to the surface.
So next time someone asks me where I get my ideas, I have two answers:
- I steal them. Read Austin Kleon for more about that.
- They come from experiences and connections. Start by doing something.