The line, the line, the line! It swirls and twirls forming shapes without thought, without worry or care. Pencil to paper, colored markers on acetate, black ink on textured surfaces—it doesn’t matter. The only thing that does matter is the pleasure of developing your creation.
As I get back to drawing—after a little break during a busy personal time in life—I reflect as I often do on the distinct thrill I get in drawing a line—A Really Good Line! A firm drawing implement in hand, I like to warm up with a few quick lines of varying thickness, playing on texture and smoothness, maybe with some shading for the fun of it. This is usually followed by a succession of mimicking lines that eventually curl into a furry animal or a tree or perhaps a Van Gogh sky. I now consider myself, “warmed up,” and examine some item or other that I’ve found to be particularly inspiring. Usually, it’s a clever thing that didn’t intend to be a pattern but so easily becomes one, or sometimes it is an object that has something novel about it – perhaps an owl with a different way of drawing the beak, or a new vein pattern on a leaf. Anything can be inspiring – an advertisement, a snip of someone else’s fabric, an old book, the brickwork in a courtyard, or maybe looking at bark on a tree after the rain, when it turns multiple colors, like a Monet painting. I think the key is to always be looking for something that strikes the eye, make a mental note of it, and then sit down and, after a bit of reflection – because it’s always better after a bit of reflection – begin to play with the pattern.