Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sketchbook Guilt

Today is the first of April, and I have two things planned.  First, the Toons On Tap social media accounts will be updated with useless 'art tips' overlaid on a stock photo of a nude, flute playing cherub.  Second, today is the start of a month long art battle between Jeremy Cardarelli and myself.

Lately, I have been feeling guilty that my sketching habits have withered since leaving school.  I suspect this 'sketchbook guilt' is not only common, but part of the reason Toons On Tap can exist.

Once, I wrote this in a promotional email:
You need to draw.  I need to draw.  Kevin the ginger computer programmer on Yonge Street needs to draw.  Everyone doesn't draw nearly enough and we all know it.
And got this response:
Best shameless self promotion e-mail I've ever gotten. I'm in T.O, and I will definitely be there monday night. See you then!
Any lessons I glean from getting my own self to draw I can apply to getting more people out to the events.

Sketches from Toons On Tap - Session 25: Cleopatra.  Modelled by Coco Framboise.
Inspiration struck last week as Jeremy and I were browsing an art supply store.  We came across an enticing, multicoloured pad of art paper.  We exchanged looks.  "April Sketch Challenge?"  "Hells yeah!"  Fist bump.  Bought two copies.

Back in September, we completed a similar challenge with positive results.  We've designed the challenge to motivate both of us to draw while playing to the very different ways that we feel motivated.  Jeremy works best when he sets fun, daily goals for himself, clearly and carefully scheduled.  (Perfect example: his Satellite Soda drawings.)  He's an intrinsically motivated fellow who works each day towards his personal best.

As for myself, I'm mainly motivated extrinsically.  Example: the only reason I studied advanced functions in high school was because my potato-head friend once whined that the class was too hard. Honestly, I know I won't magically bounce out of bed and start pumping out sketchbooks 'for myself'.   Jeremy may need the structure, but I need a worthy competitor.

Here are the rules we agreed upon:
  • Fill all pages of the sketchbook, cover to cover, between April 1st and April 30th.
  • Draw on both sides of the paper.  
  • No copying work from other artists.
  • Don't be lazy; the point is to improve.
  • At least 10 pages must be of superheroes.
  • At least 10 pages must be of creatures.
  • At least 10 pages must use coloured markers.
  • Do at least five pages of nude studies, from life.  Draw your friends.  ;) 
  • Draw at least one piece from an exaggerated perspective angle ex. bird's eye or worm's eye.
  • Draw at least three different body types and three different ethnicities.  
If Jeremy completes the challenge, I will take him out to the movies at the end of the month.  If I complete the challenge, Jeremy will buy me yoga pants.  (I wonder why?)  If neither of us can meet the deadline, no prizes for anyone.

I am writing about the challenge here not just to be held accountable by both my blog readers, but to announce my intent to annihilate Jeremy in the competition.  Have fun painting happy little clouds, babe.  I will crush you.

The anthem of my victory


  1. Interesting choice of Anthem Laurie. I wish you both luck in your challenge, and hope you show off your sketch books at Toons on Tap.

    Also Motivational tips are Hilarious.

  2. Thanks, Craig! So far, I've been drawing women with Botox and happy, plump squirrels. For sure, I'll show you my sketches on Tuesday, and I hope to see what you've been up to, too!