The Drawing Beneath My Kayak
Aquascape Journal: Notes, Sketches & Designs 53 pages USD $2.99
Among fifty pages of aquascape sketches and designs, artist/author Chris Hammond incorporates soul-searching journal entries that aim to connect the dots between the creative process, appreciating nature, and maintaining a strong sense of personal well-being.
Here's the thing about people who do creative work on a daily basis: They don't wait to be inspired. It's a practice. It's a habit. It's a ritual. If you play the piano or go to the gym, chances are you start off your session with some warm-up exercises. And when it comes to journaling, I start my warm-up ritual with swirlies.
Swirlies. (See video below.) Yes, I draw swirlies. It's part of the same studio warm-up routine that I learned in design school more than forty years ago. Swirlies are a great gesture drawing exercise to sort of calibrate the eye/mind/body. But that's not the point.
And here's secret #3: One thing leads to another. The act of putting marks on paper will activate your mind, stir up memories, and churn thoughts and ideas. You will find yourself making a natural transition to sketching more complex designs. Now that your imagination is awake, all sorts of things begin to emerge on paper. And so it goes. You're off to having an inspired, creative journaling session.
Recently, I watched the 2018 documentary, Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki, by Kaku Arakawa. The film, of course, is about Miyazaki, the Japanese master animation director. His work has earned prestigious awards at international animation and film festivals for five decades. (See the trailer for this film here.)
The martial arts film actor, Jackie Chan, shows us outtakes that are quite different. He shows them to us because they are dangerous stunts that nobody should try.
Let's face it. Drawing in a journal or sketchbook isn't so risky. What's at stake? Realistically, it's just a sheet of paper.
So here is secret #2:
Don't use a bound journal or sketchbook. I recommend using what we might call a loose-leaf journal. In other words, cheap copy paper (See below). Why? It is so easy to discard outtakes. It makes journaling feel very safe. I believe you will be more apt to try stuff and experiment. Because it's just a sheet of paper.
Step into your kayak and push off. Breath. Let go. Reawaken into the moment. Appreciate. Reconnect. Revitalize. Mind. Body. Spirit. Rediscover your sense of touch. This is your healing journey.
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