Go Make That Stuff.
“The manifesto is this: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done”.
- Austin Kleon, “Steal Like an Artist”. Workman Publishing Company, Inc 2012
Does this sound familiar to anyone that I’ve spoken to recently about “Fingerprintz”? For those that don’t know or haven’t heard, Fingerprintz is a type of doodle or Pen & Ink line art that I’ve been working on fervently. Rather than just simply consider my work simply a ‘doodle’, I like Sunni Brown’s TED video clip (click link). And as the tagline for the short video goes, “She makes the case for unlocking your brain via pad and pen”. I just kept taking it a step further, a little bit at a time.
As many of us do, we take time to relax and unwind and clear our minds. Everyone has their own particular way of doing this, mine happens to be drawing. I’ve done it ever since I can remember, all throughout school – grade school and beyond. It helps be focus, either by getting FOCUSED or not losing it. Either way it serves me well in helping grasp complex thoughts and processes, and it’s been proven to help others as well. It’s interesting to me that something, such as doodling, has such a negative connotation attached to it, when in reality doodling is how many gain or keep what others think we’re lacking…attention.
In any conscious, repetitive action that we do, patterns become more apparent by studying and observing what it is that you’re doing. I say conscious because to the outsider, drawing minute, concentric, ever increasingly smaller or wider/bigger lines, over and over again might be seen as mindless…which is how Fingerprintz loosely defines itself as it’s own subgenre of line art (Fingerprintz get their name from the style and form that is most similar to a human fingerprint).
An enthusiastic search for material from which to learn and hone my skills soon turned to many dead ends. There wasn’t much to go on, and in a world where MOST anything is searchable by Google, NOT finding any information left me feeling flat. How am I supposed to learn about this? How can I improve? How am I supposed to describe what it is that I do? I was stuck. I wanted to draw, but I wanted to draw better. I wanted to show the world my very best, and to do that, I had to improve. But how?! And with that I stuffed the thought back into my mind, on the bench, ready to be used as a 6th player, a sub if you will. The game plan: create. Just draw. I’ll worry about learning more as I go along.
I had what I needed: pen (ink), paper, Add to that lines and curves and do it in black & white – so, I got started.
Funny how the one thing I was worried about started taking care itself once I just starting doing what needed to be done: practice
The more I put more ink on paper, the more I studied what was evolving right there in front of me. I started to notice how the lines themselves influenced each other and how it was that they shaped and formed the overall picture. Certain sections seemed to pop out more, how do they do that? Some areas seemed to recede or fade into the background, while others had a peculiar ‘movement’ about them… “Wow!” was all I could say as form after form, shape after shape materialized, a tangible manifestation from my mind to the real world.
The creeping sense that I was now in unknown territory began to be frightening. I retrospect I think I’m glad it was frightening, the fear helped push me through the Dip. As the fear subsided and slowly started to dissipate, it allowed for more hopeful thoughts to invade.
Have you ever wanted to be a pioneer?
It’s not a question that the authors and bloggers that I’m fondly attached to ask, but it’s certainly an attribute (skill?) they help encourage. Part of being a pioneer is going where no one has before, doing what nobody has done before. Am I one? Am I a leader? If there is anything that I have learned from the likes of Brogan, MacLeod, Stanier, LaPorte, Godin, Kleon, Smith, Guillebeau and the likes is that its in all of us. I just had to find out what.
Now instead of worry about NOT finding anything in the big, daunting, gaping void, the goal was to expand into the unknown, embrace it and carve out a niche. Doing WAS the learning! And here is what I have to contribute:
The title of this post, “Most Awesome ‘Cycle Texas’ Logo Ever” is what I’m using to describe the confluence of many estuaries – the books, the authors, the bloggers and Twitter fans, the posts, the guides, and so much more- lead to a singularly huge thought.
What is the most awesome ‘Cycle Texas” logo?
Back to Google again to enter the search term, and this time, not only was I surprised, I was floored. Not one single Google image pointed to a picture, JPEG, pic, clipart, or PDF of what I was I looking for – so I made one.
The most awesome “Cycle Texas” logo ever (Facebook link)
Knowing full well that records, rules and statements are meant to be broken, it is my sincerest wish that this tagline for the logo, “Most Awesome”, be challenged. I look forward to seeing who steps up to the plate and what they have in their arsenal. This is how ideas spread, this is how we share, this is how we create remarkable.
When the day comes to cede the crown, it shall be done with grace and poise, kindness and curiosity, and the same boyish naiveté of wonder that has led me down this path of creative art that I love and enjoy. The cool thing is that I’ll still be able to say I was the first…a pioneer.
Who’s footsteps are you following in? What are they guiding, leading or lending a hand in? How can you move forward and evolve? Answer the questions for yourself and/or feel free to comment. Stare down the Void and don’t be afraid, Voids are just like that (sometimes scary) by nature.