This Season

This Season

I've heard other folks use the term season to denote a period of time where they have a specific creative focus. I'm going to adopt that. This season (duration unknown) I'll be focusing on drawing conversations and stories.

This is all on top of my day job and family commitments. So, I'll need to give myself some grace as things fall off my plate. That's typically hard to do for me.

I'm particularly interested in drawing conversations as...

We've been telling stories since we've been people.

We hunted and gathered for something like 90,000 years. Then started coming together into communities, which lead to cities, empires, and countries. It was only one hundred years or so ago that we began the industrial revolution. We've had computers for what, only 50-75 years?

All this time, wherever we were, and however we were living, we attempted to use stories and images to share what it is like to be us.

Sitting around a fire. Or in front of a shaman, orator, or actor. Film, TV, Internet. We're drawn to storytelling as one of the things that make us human. Over time, we used stories, and drawn symbols to enhance meaning.

Our rites of passage, faith in something bigger than us, instructions on how to do what we do.

A cave painting from Lascaux.

Being in the moment and drawing what I am hearing (and sometimes what is left unsaid) is meditative.

I don't really have a rigor around my meditative practices. Something I'd like to focus on of course. But when I'm walking in nature, or drawing what I am hearing it feels selfless, and connected to a life force, a God, the cosmos, Interconnectedness, whatever you choose to call it.

I don't hear the self-doubt, the distractions, and I am reminded of this quote which I love.

You are not the voice of the mind, you are the one who hears it.

Buddhism teaches us to walk a Noble Eight-fold path towards enlightenment. It consists of:

  1. Beneficial view 
  2. Beneficial intention 
  3. Beneficial speech 
  4. Beneficial action
  5. Beneficial livelihood
  6. Beneficial effort 
  7. Beneficial mindfulness
  8. Beneficial concentration

I can make an argument that this kind of creative effort is beneficial to me, in all those aspects. But that's another post, or series of posts. If you're interested in this, the book Tea and Cake with Demons is very accessible and well written. — BOOK ✨ TEA AND CAKE WITH DEMONS

The value of visualization

A picture is worth a thousand words

Turns out it might be more. There is all kinds of science to support this age-old saying.

  • Humans process images 60,000 times faster than text
  • Visuals can help people improve memory recall
  • 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual

People who see what they've said being drawn feel included and represented in the conversation. Now I don't have any hard evidence of this, but I know this in my bones ...

So, I'm looking for storytelling events, meetups, unconferences, talks, or any other type of situation where people gather to talk, so that I can draw it and share with the presenters, organizers, and their audience.

If you know of any kind of event like this in person (between Portland Maine and Boston Massachusetts), or anywhere in the world where I can join you via zoom, let me know.

And you can see some examples of this work here.