Still don’t have a scanner this week, so I can’t upload some new sketches I did.
Here’s a book review instead (my first)!
Your creative license by Danny Gregory
Interestingly, this is categorized as a self-help book. If you’re the type of person with a strict daily routine, and never do anything remotely artistic, then you’re likely to get a lot out of this book. As I’m already “creative” (in that I draw), I didn’t really get much out of it.
The gist of the book is to start a journal in which you draw and write everyday. He gives a couple of exercises, and suggestions such as “today, draw your breakfast”, “draw a bagel and capture all of its imperfections”, etc… The author assumes the reader has never drawn, and so he provides a chapter on learning to draw, acknowledging that he can’t sufficiently talk about drawing in one chapter, and provides a reading list of art book.
My main problem with the book is the drawing chapter. He specifically instructs people not to “sketch” but to follow the contours of the object as you see it. Basically his drawing advice is similar to the drawing advice in the book “Drawing on the right side of the brain”. I suppose there’s a merit to that drawing method when you’ve just started out, but I find that if you want to get better at drawing realistically, you need to move beyond it quick. In the “draw a bagel exercise”, instead of quickly drawing the general shape of the bagel and then doing the details, the author says to start with the details, to draw one imperfection after the other. It’s like drawing a fish scale by scale. Drawing in this way is very tedious, and you generally get very crooked drawings. And in fact, Danny Gregory’s drawings are very crooked. His art has a certain charm, but I don’t want to draw like him.
Next he gives suggestions on what to draw, like “draw your entire cd collection (using the tedious drawing method I outlined before)” , “draw everything you eat”, “draw all the bricks in a brick building (this one I may have made up”. His suggestion leads me to believe he has some sort of obsessive compulsion. A lot of his suggestions are lists like “”draw all the fish hooks you have”, “draw all the medicine in your medicine cupboard”. Some people may just love this Proustian endeavor of cataloguing every aspect of their life, I find it terribly dull and boring.
I think the best part of the book is the motivational part, where he says not to get discouraged after one bad drawing, not to give up on the journal etc…
Lastly, the copy is laid in a handwritten font, so the book mimics the look of an actual journal. I actually think the design suits the book, but some people may have problems reading pages of text in a funky font.