June 18, 2014

Getting back into sketching

I noticed in school and at work that my moleskine sketchbooks have degenerated to chicken scratches in the past few years. It has become more words and less images. Inside my sketchbooks you see the writings of to-do lists and things I need to register in my head when I am in a meeting, getting feedback, or things I have heard in a lecture.

So I decided to get back into my groove of sketching. I visited my friends who were in grad school and one of the advice I got from them was "if you do not have time to do a competition, you might as well get back into sketching and reading this summer."

I thought it's a great idea (well everything career-wise was pointing towards drawing and this was the final push) and I hope I can also throw in the readings to keep my head in academia. I kinda lost focus on a design competition I really wanted to work on that's due next month...and when it's summertime, working full time, meeting up with friends, and taking improv/acting classes...it can be quite a pickle to juggle all at once.

So this June, I decided to start sketching again.I was kinda hoping to present this blog as #100daysofsketching but I've already missed a few days here and there. Who cares, I'm having fun getting mired using my pen and sketchpad. This week I've began to include markers and I am just enjoying to sketch. I'm even trying to sketch more at work than just playing on sketchup and autocad.

Some of my recent sketches just include observations, my interest in experiential sections, case studies, and abstract patterns and textures. 
The best thing I have gained from improv classes is to be comfortable with impulse and not caring about mistakes, or at least tolerating it. The only way to get better is to just do it and start somewhere, anywhere, and get back into the groove of drawing. Details in the subway car, random stuff my hand initially makes, or just a case study of an image of a building I like online. The only way to get better at drawing is to just keep doing it. I think many of the architecture bloggers out there have inspired me to get back into sketching. Particularly, Pointless Diagrams, as it shows that you can just sketch anything and run with it - it is an exploration of idea and inkling of what's in your head. I call it the improvisation of drawing - being free to draw whatever and just commit to the lines you have began with. Even if you don't know what you want to draw or feel like drawing, just start somewhere.

This is not my best sketches, but I remember I was just sketching on the commute,
the ride got bumpy and I just decided to just play along with the constraints I made and just did
random stuff. 

The difference between me as someone out of school for a couple of years, and the student I was is that I would not commit to my errors in sketching. I would be disheartened seeing my craptacular works and just stop completely. However this time I do not care about those blunders. I just see them as experimental iterations. I'm trying to sketch daily and find that "sketch of the day" and that means sketching more than once. Some of these drawings are attempts to explore an idea, record an idea, hone technique, or analyze a design problem at work. Would it lead to an art or design project that can become a design piece or portfolio piece, who knows...most likely not (or it requires transitioning to a deeper work). Just like my exploration of improv theatre, when it comes to my exploration of sketching, I'll let go wherever it takes me.

To all the architecture students out there, if you want to learn how to sketch and draw better, there are tons of good books out there, but you just need to start somewhere and just keep drawing. Here's to a summer of drawing.

Be Loose Architecture Students
My M.Arch Detour: Improv Comedy!
Every Little Bit Counts

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