Greg Gunn TLDR #13 - The Back To Basics Issue

Hello again! And welcome to the 13th issue of TLDR. If you’re new to the list, let me extend an extra special welcome your way—thanks for joining. Whether you’re new, missed an issue or need a recap, here’s a link to the last couple issues to get you caught up:

TLDR #12 - The iMessage Stickers Issue
TLDR #11 - The My First Vlog Issue

Back To Basics

TLDR 013 Sketch 01

I bought a new sketchbook last week. With thick, cold pressed paper that can withstand pencil, ink and paint. 

I bought it because I’m in the middle of a challenging CG project at work. And that makes it difficult to come home and sit in front of another computer screen. I know this because I’ve tried and just couldn’t get motivated. I’ve been mentally and digitally exhausted.

After thinking more about why that is, I realized that I hadn’t pushed myself creatively in a while. I hadn't made something. Maybe it’s age or life priorities, but it feels like I haven’t developed or learned a new skill lately (I am shamefully such a C4D n00b still).

So what does the sketchbook have to do with this? I’m keeping it simple.

Draw Every Day

I’m taking it back to basics and doing daily drawing sessions. Pencil, ink, paint whatever. Just do what I can every day to get an idea down on paper. Doesn’t have to be good, doesn’t have to make sense. Just spend the time I can on it.

Speaking of time, here’s my average schedule:

  • 45 minutes before work
  • 45 minutes during lunch
  • 15 minutes during break

That’s almost two hours a day that I found just laying around.

My one rule is that I have to draw something I’m not good at or in a way I haven’t before. Some examples: hands, long hair, typography, patterns, dynamic poses, anything with paint markers.

TLDR 013 Sketch 02

Building Your Idea Bank

What is it about drawing that’s so cathartic? If you’re anything like me, you’re an incessant doodler. My notebooks are filled equally with important meeting notes and wobbly drawings of weird characters. 

Occasionally, I’ll crack open an old notebook and find an interesting idea to work with. I like to think of them as idea banks. I can open one any time, flip through pages and discover something I forget I had. Insert your Sherlock mind palace quote here.

Point being, a sketchbook is a deliberate idea bank. And I’m using this one for both practice and purpose: get better at drawing stuff and faster at capturing my ideas and archiving them for later.

What Are You Learning?

To further my development I’ve been thinking about taking a class on hand-lettering or pattern design or digital painting. Sharpen some core skills and learn something new along the way.

What are you learning? When was the last time you challenged yourself?

Also, if you’re interested in what happens inside my sketchbook, join me on Instagram and watch for my stories. Be aware, there will be cute dog photos peppered in there too.
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