I recently decided, in a determined attempt to increase productivity and explore new visual ground, that I would do one finished drawing a day; regardless of how busy I am or where life decides to take me. Just make some time to take a plain white sheet of paper and a pen, and “take a line for a walk”, to quote Paul Klee. No self-editing allowed until an idea is fully represented, letting common sense go on vacation, and intuition and curiosity to take hold. And let anything (anything at all), trigger a concept or notion and let the line do its thing.
As with any course of action where parameters are loosely set, I had no idea how unexpected the outcome would be. I certainly didn’t even suspect these presets would quickly lead me to some of the most personal drawings I’ve ever done.
It’s both a pleasure and a privilege to contribute to The Wall Street Journal, and this is my second commission from them, which was just published both in print and online yesterday in their Sunday edition.
The article is about all the great pre-holiday deals and discounts available in October, from cheaper plane tickets to toys sales for the kids; with additional insider’s tips for saving money. You can read it here.
I love the challenge of having to synthesize a certain amount of information into a very small space. I made the original drawing the same size as the printed size –only 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches– to ensure maximum clarity. Spot illustrations can still have an impact and a strong presence on the page, depending on how well composed/designed they are. Since I sometimes tend to include too many elements in my images, this gives me the chance to try to distill an idea to its bare essence. Needless to say, it’s an ongoing challenge that I look forward to keep improving on.
Mark Tyner, the art director of the WSJ page, is straightforward, attentive, and helpful, and makes sure the whole process goes by in a breeze. Many thanks for the assignment, Mark.