Today is the last day of our August “Travel Fun!” art challenge, and I hope everyone who joined me this month had a wonderful trip! As always on Doodlewash, the end is merely the beginning as our “Everyday Things” art challenge is already here and happening throughout the month of September! Just add the hashtag #doodlewashSeptember2019 during the month to join us! As many of you already now, my secret weapon to successfully sketching every single day now for over four years is to take things one month at a time. It’s the idea I had for myself when I first started my blog, and once I realized how effective this approach can be, I invited the rest of the world to join me! As a kid, I loved the start of a fresh new month as it meant lots of new projects to try and fun things to explore. So, my inner child is totally excited for the month ahead! But the end of a journey is also a bit bittersweet as well. Many of you may be leaving my side to try another of the endless art challenges now cropping up, but I truly hope you’ll stay sketching and coloring with me and the others in our community you’ve met along the way. It’s fun to travel to new places and explore ideas together through art, and so I’m excited to see what this next adventure brings.
In my doodlewash for today, I decided to include Little Charlie, as it’s been awhile since he made a visual appearance. This sketch is a bit reminiscent of the one I made last year during August that’s currently on the cover of my illustrated memoir I published. That sketch illustrated the beginning of the journey, so I figured there should be one showing the return, which is indeed a bit less dramatic. Yet, even as a kid, though going on adventures was amazing, it always felt good to be back home again. And better yet, nearly anything at all qualified as an adventure. Back then, there were so many things I hadn’t tried yet that everything glowed with possibility. Today, it’s more of a challenge. I’ve developed a vast memory bank of experiences and so things can often feel a bit similar to something I’ve done before rather than something entirely new. But, I’ve learned that’s actually a wonderful thing indeed, especially when it comes to creative projects. The truth, of course, is that each thing is actually still quite different from the next, but the similarities are there because of our own unique style. I’m said this often, but it always bears repeating, your personal style isn’t something you have to find, it’s already found you.
What I love today is that I’m building a visual memory bank of daily sketches that I can cross-reference and revisit any time I choose. I can see improvements and be reminded of successful little tricks and techniques that I somehow stopped using, and so I make a mental note to try them again. I love this little bag of tricks that I’m building and it’s what I intend to share via my Activity Book series. I’ve been asked to provide a step-by-step approach, but I don’t work in precise steps, so this isn’t possible for me. I just grab from my bag of tricks and then gleefully approach things in whatever order I feel like DOing them in that day. To an adult, this can sound like the method of a crazy person. But, to a child it’s perfectly natural and indeed preferred. It’s the same way travel felt for me as a kid. Even if my parents had already decided what might happen next, I personally didn’t have an agenda. Each day was simply another beautiful chance to try whatever my heart felt it must DO next! I guess that’s why when it comes to art, I will pack all I can into my mental suitcase, but I choose to wear only whatever fits me most that day. And why I’m never more excited than in that moment of pure beginning that always comes at the end of the journey.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
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