When I came up with the idea for this project back in December, I was mostly inspired by my daughter. She is always creating something whether it's a drawing, a block sculpture, or repurposing her toys. Yesterday we were sorting through a pile of her recent artwork. [This pile is a foot tall, no joke!] She was helping me decide which ones to keep and which ones to recycle. We ran across several drawings that we thought we'd already sorted. Soon we realized what was going on...
She had drawn the same thing multiple times. I believe these were drawn on separate occasions because they were quite far apart from each other in the pile. We were both amazed at how alike the drawings were. Above is just a sample of our findings. We found many of these...bear drawings, maps, lists of words, etc.
So of course this got me thinking, is this idea worth stealing? As someone who rarely draws from my imagination, this would be a great exercise for me....to recreate an old piece from memory. Her visual memory is so much stronger than mine. My daughter can't read or write much so she is forced to remember. What if I didn't allow myself the crutch of my reference books?
Most artists have certain images that show up in their work often and weave into their signature style. My guess is this happens through repetition...drawing something that interests them over and over until they can draw it from memory. I'm currently studying Basquiat so I'll use him as an example. You'll find skulls, teeth, crowns, and eyes in most every piece of his art. You recognize a Basquiat not just by his expressionistic style and color palette but also by his signature images.
I'm beginning my fifth month of daily drawings and my third sketchbook. It's a good time to look back and find my signature images. I sometimes get stuck on the idea that every day I need to create something new. Perhaps there's also value in repetition. There's nothing wrong with repeating images and/or elements. In fact, repetition is one of the design elements of unity. Repetition is a good way to bring it all together. Repetition isn't always boring. I think this month I'm going to give myself permission to repeat.