There is something about the repetitive nature of drawing porcupines that relaxes me. Been doing it for years. Get a few different colored fine line markers, sketch out the porcupine’s body and then continually scribe out hundreds of thin lines, in varying colors - it’s incredibly calming and led me to the creation of Copper, our sweet ‘paper’ porcupine.
A few years ago, I sketched her out on a large piece of watercolor paper, screwed it to a sheet of masonite - then mounted to my old drafting table. Named her Copper because of the pink circles in the background - which I stamped using copper pipe fittings and printmaking inks.
Her quills are slivers of paper, recycled from a commercial print shop. Here is a pic of how she started, followed by a pic of her current state.
Do you ever start a project with high-expectations, then, find yourself wondering how, why and when you stopped working on it? Copper is one of these projects. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months...
When the lockdown started, in an attempt to stay positive, I started a daily gratitude practice. Every morning, I’d quickly come up with three random things to be grateful for - completely arbitrary, mundane, sometimes even silly. I continued with this for 8 months. Then on November 30, 2020, I woke up, looked out my window and came up with: Scissors, Winter Hats and Looking out my Window - and -BOOM- an idea, I’ll DOODLE my daily gratitudes.
I did this every day for several months - even posted them on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. It kept my mind focused on the small things - and even inspired a few to start their own (kids & adults).
Then, on February 4, I had root canal and man-o-man did that stink and I found myself unable to muster the energy to doodle or even come up with three things. I figured I had earned the right to take a week off. A week turned into two and next thing I know - I am not doing it anymore.
I needed a Re-Start day - and it just so happens that the month of March starts on a Monday - so here we are, re-Beginning the daily gratitude (doodle) journal, with a few minor changes to the format.
Changes to the format (FOR MARCH):
It’s going to be tough to do this - not sure how long it will last, but taking it one day at a time - and will do my best to stick to it - which leads me back to Porcupines. They’re fun to draw - I have this very relaxing technique for drawing a porcupine. Check out this YouTube video where I show you how.
So, Today (MARCH 1, 2021) I am grateful for:
- BATH TOWELS.
- T-SHIRT w/ INFO PRINTED ON INSIDE BACK COLLAR,
SO THERE’S NO LITTLE TAG TO MAKE ME ITCHY.
I love using a fresh bath towel, right after it’s been washed - it has an added layer of softness and just makes me very happy. Porcupines - I am grateful that they exist and grateful for finding out about them (they are actually docile creatures). The T-Shirt thing got me thinking about another project for March - something I am calling ‘Make & Market Products in March’. Giving myself a challenge to concept/design & make a new product every three days, in the month of March. A sketchbook, notecard, t-shirt, sticker, or something else that hasn’t been conjured up yet. Super ambitious, I might slip - but I’m giving it a shot. Here we go...
Today, my wife, two boys and I just went on our very first road trip in a long time - and I am writing this sitting in a hotel room in center of Syracuse. Tomorrow morning, we are driving about 30 miles north to pick up Bowie, our new Australian Labradoodle puppy. She is supposed to be hypo-allergenic, we’ll see what happens - but we’re keeping her no matter what.
It’s more important than ever for our kids to be creating and drawing and using their hands to make stuff. This blog is my attempt to come up with ideas for them to do just that. Thanks for stopping by.
Thanks for scrolling all the way. If you’re in NYC area, come in for a workshop. If outside NYC, drop us a note and we’ll get back with ways to connect with your kids. Stay creative and have a great day!