Shut up and Draw. It’s Good for You!

Posted on Aug 14, 2012 in art, teaching | 90 Comments

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

In order to get myself back in gear this summer and prep myself for the drawing classes I’m going to be teaching this semester at Murray State, I delved into the simple but effective EDM drawing challenges. These drawing challenges were started by artist Danny Gregory, whom I’ve been following off and on for  about 8 years now. I found his blog somehow and began promoting his books at Maple Street Book Shop, the small, independent store I worked at during my undergraduate studies at Tulane in New Orleans. Ever since I’ve checked back in now and again to be inspired by his productivity and honest commentary on daily life.

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

I’m also continually impressed by the community that has grown around his work, and around these drawing challenges in particular. “EDM” stands for “Every Day Matters,” which was the very book of his that I once promoted at the shop. The Creative License is another of Gregory’s books, which I have used in  2D Design classes to inspire students who grumble that they “can’t draw” and that they just want to be graphic designers or clothing designers and why do they need to learn to draw, anyway? Sometimes the Creative License tome was just what they needed to get their gears rolling and to quit listing all the things they can’t and/or don’t like to do.

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

In any case, while at Frogman’s workshop this summer, I happened upon Gregory’s blog again. He was starting to do the EDM Challenges all over himself, and I decided to work on some myself. I wrote down a long list of the challenges from this Master Challenge List and got to work. It’s been fun! I did a whole bunch of them back-to-back at first, and now I have tapered off a bit, but I am sure I will keep returning to them. It feels good just to draw and to give myself assignments. It almost doesn’t matter what it is. It keeps my drawing muscles limber, and it makes me feel great to say that I draw something every day.

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

If any of you guys are interested in seeing more or trying a few of the challenges yourself, check out the EDM flickr group, the challenges on Danny Gregory’s blog, and the master list of challenges on Karen Winters’ Blog. I’m not really following any of the rules of the challenges–I jump around and do more sometimes, less others–but I don’t think it matters as long as it gets the juices flowing so that I’m salivating for the next drawing or print that I’ll be working on for myself.

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

Sketchbook: Drawing Challenges

In other news, here’s the latest woodblock I carved. It’s in commemoration of the sale of Frogman’s press to Matt Egan. Hopefully I will get a chance to proof it later this week! Frogman’s Press pillows, anyone?

Lloyd Menard, Frogman's Press, Matt Egan

90 Comments

  1. Juliet
    August 14, 2012

    This is inspiring. I makes me want to be more open about what I have in my note/sketch books.

    Reply
    • Juliet
      August 14, 2012

      *It makes

      Reply
  2. rikreimert
    August 14, 2012

    Amazing style!

    Reply
    • Hannah & Blake Sanders
      August 16, 2012

      Thanks! I like the Gary Oldman you’re working on. Do you do woodcuts?

      Reply
      • rikreimert
        August 16, 2012

        Hey,
        No I don’t. I did try it in art school, but it’S not my thing. I’m stucking by pen and paper, but I am searching for reproduction methods.

        Reply
  3. Lynn Cohen
    August 14, 2012

    Fun finding these through your comment to Danny Gregory today! Always happy to find like minded/drawing artists!

    Reply
    • Hannah & Blake Sanders
      August 16, 2012

      Thanks for looking! D. Gregory always inspires me, and I love meeting new artists on the web, as well!

      Reply
  4. kathybrett
    August 15, 2012

    It’s so fabulous to get a inside peek at an artists sketch book, love the blind contour drawings!

    Reply
    • Hannah & Blake Sanders
      August 16, 2012

      Thanks! They are one of my favorite warmups for myself and for students! I love the drawing rants on your blog.

      Reply
  5. charles hancock
    August 15, 2012

    goddddddamn really good stuff. i love sketchbooks. somedays its the only thing that keeps me sane…….keeps me from hacking someone into chunks with a damn claw hammer. carry it with me always…..the sketchbook that is…not the claw hammer.

    Reply
    • Hannah & Blake Sanders
      August 16, 2012

      It’s definitely my sane-o-meter. Only thing I can get done some days! Can I borrow your claw hammer?

      Reply
  6. katie
    August 16, 2012

    I really like your drawings, I’m not particularly great but I try!

    Reply
    • Hannah & Blake Sanders
      August 16, 2012

      I’m sure you already have strengths, and I know you can’t but improve if you just keep at it! Exercise your drawing muscles, girl.

      Reply
  7. cartoonmick
    August 16, 2012

    I love drawing, especially when the subject/scene (whatever) is interesting.
    With a bit of music to go with it, I can disappear into another world, like a trance almost.
    I sometimes discretely draw faces of people in the coffee shop I go to on the waterfront.
    It’s good practise, practise, practise etc.
    In the meantime, I enjoy drawing all the cartoons you can see on my blog.
    Thanks for starting this post.

    Reply
  8. Frenchie Leigh
    August 16, 2012

    A peek into an artist’s sketchbook is such a treat! Thanks for sharing and congrats on being freshly pressed!

    Also, is that a VW key I see? ;)

    Reply
    • Hannah & Blake Sanders
      August 16, 2012

      Thanks for looking! I wish it were a VW key. I would love a little bus! I drive a 97′ Honda Civic and we have a 2011 Kia Soul, as well. Both good on the gas mileage!

      Reply
      • Frenchie Leigh
        August 16, 2012

        Ah, I saw the flip key and I was like :O A fellow VWer!

        Though I’ll admit I’m turning mine in for something a little less…expensive to repair. :( Sad times all around.

        Reply
  9. chaoticscribbles
    August 16, 2012

    What a stunning collectin. A beautiful style and such inspiring drawings. Especially the picture of the keys and phone, wonderful 3d effect, and the hand. Saw you noted to do it again but I seriously thought it was perfect, such craft!

    Reply
  10. Mathurini
    August 16, 2012

    This looks great, I had posted my sketches up on my blog too! Haven’t done it in ages, so you’ve definitely spurred me into wanting to do that again! xx

    Reply
  11. foreigninput
    August 16, 2012

    this is really good stuff…your technique and detail is brilliant, how long have you been doing this? made me go stare at my sketch book, its been pretty lonely for a while…lol..!!

    Reply
    • Hannah & Blake Sanders
      August 16, 2012

      Don’t let it be lonely! You can always start again with something small. I’ve always loved drawing/journaling ever since I was a little kid. I think the oldest sketchbooks I have date back to 2nd grade. I make a lot of failed attempts, but I always learn something even with those, and I just keep chugging along. As a teacher, I like to keep myself in the struggle and try to keep challenging myself. I’m glad there are lots of others out there doing the same to keep me going when I hit a low point!

      Reply
  12. kollshi17
    August 16, 2012

    thank you

    Reply
  13. pezcita
    August 16, 2012

    I envy anyone who gets to/has to take drawing classes. The comic strips on my blog would be much better if I had a teacher like you!

    Reply
  14. Unmana
    August 16, 2012

    Lovely drawings, and EDM can apply to so much more than drawing.

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed!

    Reply
    • Hannah & Blake Sanders
      August 16, 2012

      That’s true! I always liked D. Gregory’s story about how he always used to journal about negative things in sketchbooks and that when he turned them towards the positive, it really changed his outlook on life

      Reply
  15. twistnpout
    August 16, 2012

    Thank You!

    Reply
  16. Anita C. Miller
    August 16, 2012

    Do what you love creatively daily…you can find at least 15 minutes, I say! Half the battle is just showing up at the studio! Thanks for sharing and congratulations on being FP’d.

    Reply
  17. blueaugustmoon
    August 16, 2012

    I love this, especially the every day challenges (and the drawings are amazing!!) this is just what I am feeling driven to do, right now. I love novelty met with synchronicity!

    Reply
  18. blueaugustmoon
    August 16, 2012

    Reblogged this on blueaugustmoon and commented:
    I love this, especially the every day challenges (and the drawings are amazing!!) this is just what I am feeling driven to do, right now. I love novelty met with synchronicity!

    Reply
  19. broadsideblog
    August 16, 2012

    http://broadsideblog.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/as-the-traveling-sketchbook-show-heads-to-melbourne-here-are-some-of-mine/

    Here are some of mine, from Sydney, Thailand, London, Paris and Ireland.

    LOVE this post and the spirit of it. Makes me want to get out the pens, watercolors and get started again!

    Reply
  20. Art/Happiness=Bliss
    August 16, 2012

    Thank you for reminding me to “shut up and draw”. Indeed it is good for the soul and so was finding your wonderful post today.

    Congrats on your FP award!

    Reply
  21. tryityoumightlikeit
    August 16, 2012

    I LOVE your drawing style. I’m working on a 30-day drawing challenge and have been wondering what to do once it’s over. Now I know.
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed as well!

    Reply
  22. Carlie Chew
    August 16, 2012

    This is so great! I am a photographer, but I have a love for drawing. I’ve been thinking about popping into some nude drawing classes to get back into it, but this is a great idea. I’m so happy you shared this and I can’t wait to get started on my daily sketches. I believe that art in all forms helps to open your creativity.

    Reply
  23. isabellacrm
    August 16, 2012

    what kind of media do you use to make those drawings? (sorry, English is not my first language and i’m terrible translating art-related words, lol). they are really great, congrats!

    Reply
    • Hannah & Blake Sanders
      August 16, 2012

      For these drawings I mostly used a Staedler brand 0.3 ink pen and Koh-i-Nor watercolors and Prang watercolors. Thanks for looking!

      Reply
  24. awbw
    August 16, 2012

    shut up and draw; I wish that’s what i would of been told in school :p

    Reply
  25. adamgrieve
    August 16, 2012

    Great to see hand made art again, it is a relief. So much nowadays is done by computers etc which is good as well, but nothing like the old hand plus pen and paper tradition. Check out my art if you like. adamgrieve.com it is a mixture of all kinds.

    Reply
  26. gracewkluk
    August 16, 2012

    It’s good to draw something every day!

    Reply
  27. T.
    August 16, 2012

    I love this idea! And your drawings are great, especially the last one with the gears and train.

    Reply
  28. indigofletcher
    August 16, 2012

    Oh my goodness, I love your style! I do a lot of photography, but picked up sketching this summer and have found it to be quite relaxing and enjoyable! Awesome share and congrats on being freshly pressed!

    Reply
  29. lofieye
    August 16, 2012

    Reblogged this on Artist Anonymous and commented:
    This is a really exciting post!

    Reply
  30. gingerbreadcafe
    August 16, 2012

    What a great idea, I used to study fashion many years ago and I drift in and out of drawing. I set myself a challenge to draw a fashion illustration once a week and I’ve never considered myself great at drawing and the more I did the better they were. I must get back into it again!

    Reply
  31. zookyshirts
    August 16, 2012

    Very cool illustrations, and I like your enthusiasm to draw everyday. I have a sketchbook for cartoons and poetry, but I don’t work on it everyday. So your challenge to Shut Up and Draw is inspirational! Also, I’ve never heard of the EDM Challenges — I’ll certainly have to check it out. Thanks!

    Reply
  32. isabellacrm
    August 16, 2012

    Hi again! I have a sort of unrelated question that may be a little stupid :)
    Is there a difference between the Staedler 0.3 ink pen you mentioned and a Stabilo Point 88 pen? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Hannah & Blake Sanders
      July 12, 2013

      I prefer the Staedler 0.3 pen. It’s sturdier! And I’m pretty heavy-handed, so that’s saying something!

      Reply
  33. dunkdad
    August 16, 2012

    Great Post! Informative and Funny! Bodacious!

    Reply
  34. stephanissima
    August 16, 2012

    I really enjoyed this! I actually spent a lot of time drawing this summer because I want to get into graphic design a bit and needed the drawing foundation so that I can even get started. I’ve been thinking about posting my thoughts on it and your post is going to be that push to get it done this week. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hannah & Blake Sanders
      August 17, 2012

      Glad to see a prospective graphic designer who’s interested in drawing well, too! Best of luck with your studies.

      Reply
  35. jessepants178
    August 16, 2012

    Reblogged this on JesseOtts and commented:
    Do this!

    Reply
  36. haugustine1
    August 16, 2012

    Thank you for this post! I feel inspired to draw more now.

    Reply
  37. fivezeroone
    August 16, 2012

    There are some nice drawings in the list.

    Reply
  38. broworkshop
    August 16, 2012

    Thats a fantastic post. I see the Danny Gregory community so vivid and sparkly that I love also to be part in my way. And there is a lot of inspiration and good people like you. Thanks!!

    Reply
  39. Scribbler
    August 16, 2012

    Captivating post! And such lovely pictures!

    Adieu, scribbler

    Reply
  40. The Hipping Post
    August 16, 2012

    Fantastic! Great sketches, and I love the EDM challenges you wrote in your sketchbook. It’s ironic that I read your post two days after I posted a sketch of my brother-in-law, who was finishing up at Murray State before he passed away 20 year ago. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  41. originaltitle
    August 16, 2012

    I’m obsessed. I want to quit my job and draw all day. This is something I would show my art students if I was still teaching. I can’t wait to follow you and see more.

    Reply
  42. A Gracious Life
    August 16, 2012

    This is so amazing! Especially to me who couldn’t even draw a straight line. =>

    Reply
  43. Grumpa Joe
    August 16, 2012

    Interesting way to log sketches.

    Reply
  44. Mark Petruska
    August 16, 2012

    Love your art! Me, I’ve always been a wordsmith, but my drawings leave plenty to be desired. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  45. RedTimbre
    August 16, 2012

    These sketches are awesome. A crude sort of beauty. That woodblock is very awesome. Makes me think of the cartoonists at Mad Magazine. I really hope you contribute to some mass publication. If not you should be. Illustrations are way better than photographs. If only the world were an A-ha music video.

    Reply
  46. backpackerina
    August 17, 2012

    Looks awesome and fun!

    Reply
  47. ashbournevoice
    August 17, 2012

    Reblogged this on AshbourneVoice and commented:
    I love sketchbooks – bridging the gap between ideas and finished art

    Reply
  48. flaircreations
    August 17, 2012

    Fantastic, really enjoyed reading your post and will definitely check out Danny Gregory and EDM. Its always easier to draw when you’re inspired by something beautiful or intriguing but it’s drawing those every day objects (like your pliers or the glass with a straw) that are so much harder and you’ve done so well.
    I run an art class on saturday and the kids only want to draw from their imagination, but half the time they cant even draw the skulls, robots etc that they want to draw properly.
    You’ve reminded me again of the joy of quick sketches. I tend to get bogged down with my jewellery design sketches (as you can see on my blog) and forget the non jewellery world.

    The sketch books are coming out, and I am going to make every day matter!

    Reply
    • Hannah & Blake Sanders
      August 17, 2012

      Glad you’ve been inspired as I was by EDM!

      Thanks for sharing your story about your art class. I know what you mean! It’s even like that with college students sometimes.

      It’d be a fun project to get kids to build skulls/robots/etc. out of everyday objects and then have them do drawings from it. I might have to think about that as a project! Thanks for the inspiration…

      Reply
      • flaircreations
        August 17, 2012

        Absolutely, sometimes I get them to do studies of the actual objects first and then go from there into the imaginary realm or the other way round.
        We have a museum near us in Oxford, Uk, that has real skulls, shrunken heads and ancient artifacts. I so want to take my skull lovers there to sketch-working on the parents though!

        Reply
  49. heelsmypassion
    August 17, 2012

    amazing drawings!!! the only things i can draw is ugly stars and 3D boxes!!!! :-p

    Reply
  50. cco90
    August 17, 2012

    Wow! Love ur sketches! Really interesting way of making yourself draw everyday! I’ll probably give it a try and prepare for my uni projects! Thx again for the great idea :)

    Reply
  51. Ninay
    August 18, 2012

    I’m into watercolor portraits recently. Though I tried drawing everyday,I still find it difficult t to come up with an artistic output. I think my works are so plain and safe. I love how you put out your works, edgy and very artistic. This post inspires m to sketch some more and more and more each day.
    I’m really giddy to read articles about art and drawing here on wordpress. Glad to find your blog.

    Reply
  52. Taking time to practice « stephanissima
    August 18, 2012

    […] or not I should post about it. Someone at WordPress must have been lurking around my head as this post came up recently in Freshly […]

    Reply
  53. Katie
    August 19, 2012

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I think your drawings are fantastic, and you’ve inspired me to pick up my pencils again and start the EDM challenge.

    Reply
  54. The Chronicle Of Pointlessness
    August 19, 2012

    Loving the drawing, I only wish I was that good, keep it up.

    Reply
  55. Jasmine T. Cruz
    August 23, 2012

    I love your drawings!

    Reply
  56. Every Day Matters | The Hipping Post
    August 24, 2012

    […] week, I came across a Freshly Pressed blog post, “Shut Up and Draw.  It’s Good for You!“, which, not only includes some fantastic sketches, but also references Danny Gregory, a […]

    Reply
  57. Listing and New Year’s Resolutions: Draw, Draw, Print & Draw! « Orange Barrel Industries
    January 2, 2013

    […] as just drawing the everyday people and things that surround me on my own. If y’all recall, I started up the EDM challenges again over the summer, and I also used them as an inspirational tool in my Art Appreciation classroom with great […]

    Reply

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