Stay still.

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I’m sick and stressed out and it’s worked for me. Whether you’re ill or upset, just taking a few seconds to breathe and focus on some other stuff can be really helpful with any bad joojoo.

The sea refuses no river.

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I’ve chosen another of my favourite extracts from Waking Life for today’s doodle. It’s a cool quote to take with you on your weekend adventures. I know the film off by heart by now. If you haven’t watched it, trust me, make an effort to do so soon.

Heroine Mary.

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I’ve been obsessed with the local band Lark for a very long time. Today’s doodle is from their song Heroine Mary.

The fear of the blank page.

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“Soos fyn wyn in ‘n bladsy bad sy” – Breyten Breytenbach (Ek dink… ek gaan moet check, Google weet ook nie.)

It’s the scariest night of the year and everyone’s getting silly with spandex, make-up, ketchup, bells and whistles. In honour of the horror holiday I decided to write about a monster I believe is rampant in the creative community. The fear of the blank page…

Some days on my way home from work my mind wanders and I think of so many things I wanna draw. I get so excited by the time I get to the sketchpad I’ve started salivating. Then I choose a weapon, be it pencil or pen, I open the book, I lower my wrist, and then something inexplicable happens… I freeze up with fear. Suddenly I’m crippled by the sheer emptiness of the space before me. So I check my phone, or light a cigarette and channel flip, you know just to normalise. A cup of coffee later, I’m stuck hovering the pen just above the surface of the paper. This can go on for hours. Sometimes I even get my dishes done in between! But eventually I smudge chocolate in a corner or I nod off and a I awake a minute later to find a mysterious squiggle in a random place. And like magic the curse is lifted! The secret to beating the blank page is simply being brave and making your mark. And if you fuck the page up anyway, paste a pretty picture over it or use it to line the budgie cage.

Take care tonight, avoid people dressed as sexy cats, light a candle so the dead don’t get lost, and remember, it’s all in your head.

Don’t think about making art.

andywarhol

 

I’ve been stuck in a creative slump for weeks. Every sketch flops, every idea’s more shitty than the previous one and everyday shorter than yesterday. Mix it all together and you end up tired from a lot of effort and nothing to show for it. But when I took a step back, I realised that I looked just like a chicken with its head cut off, running around like frantic, loudly complaining about how seriously stuck I feel. What did I really expect someone to do, to tweet me back with the key to creativity? That aint ever happening. Just like no one’s ever gonna walk up to you and say, “Hi stranger, you look like you have good ideas, here’s R100 000. Go make it happen!” And I see a lot of my peers walking around with their necks stretched, waiting for that stranger to finally find them. You’re going to die disappointed and angry at the world. The only way out is to take what you have and start working like really fucking hard. A fellow creative shared this quote by Sebastian Horsley with me this morning: “Self-pity is the most destructive of all narcotics.” And I felt ashamed. I knew I had been indulging in the excuse of “being stuck”.

So I started scribbling again. And I made a mess, which I enjoyed so much, I made another one. I still threw out an entire telephone directory of flops, but I had fun doing it. When I stop being so anal about every line my hand draws I remember that drawing is actually like my favourite thing ever. Why the hell would I ever stop? It was never about making money, what others thought of the work, or waking up famous, I just REALLY LOVE drawing, man. The idea that it could “leave” me during a “creative slump” is absurd. I was being miserable and I let my creativity down, not the other way around!