Every Friday, I meet up with various museum staffers and occasionally folks from the community and even sometimes members from our board of directors at a local bar called The Pinhook.
And most every Friday, we draw something together. Originally this activity was a way to nudge my colleagues into drawing (even if it made them uncomfortable) while also serving to relieve some social pressure by giving the group something to focus on besides conversation. In the time since, we’ve created dozens of drawings (maybe hundreds, I should count them) and the rules of the exercise have evolved based on the experiences and ideas of the participants.
The exercise began as a bar napkin version of the game layer tennis and looked like this:
We called the first iteration “napkin tennis.”
And then, as I began to use sketchbooks more in my own work and carry them around with me everywhere, we started sketching in whatever sketchbook I had with me, and they expanded, looking like this:
I’ve scanned several of these drawing and uploaded them on Flickr.
After a suggestion from a colleague based on a game he played with his brother when they were growing up, it evolved into three stages: 1) draw a squiggle; 2) turn the squiggle into something that’s no longer abstract; and 3) “finish it.” Here’s an early version of that:
Squiggle turned into “Picasso guitar,” then “finished” to become a robot.
And then, based on the suggestion of another colleague, we started using three different color markers so that the evolution of the picture could be seen after the drawing was complete.
After a too brief visit to Seattle last week to speak with some museology students at UW and share in a happy hour with them afterwards, a new version of the game has emerged: turn it into a puppy. Same rules as the squiggle game with the three colors, but all drawings need to end up looking like a puppy. Here were a few examples of last week’s drawings:
Several more of these are uploaded to Flickr.
And all the while and without fail, they bemoan their inability to draw.