If you’ve been around me in the past couple of months, it’s very likely you’ve heard me talk about Lynda Barry and the two books of hers I’ve read – Syllabus and Making Comics. I want everyone, at some point, to pick up one of her books (she’s written many so you don’t have to choose the ones I chose) and read it. Her books are for people who thought they couldn’t draw, for people who want to draw, and for people who have the desire to try something new, to let loose, and to have fun. I’m drawing more often now because of her – she makes drawing accessible to the average adult. I’m ENJOYING drawing because of her – she taught me that drawings are neither good nor bad. Drawings just are. Removing the “good” or “bad” label from a drawing has allowed me to feel free to draw. I don’t have to love my drawings. I don’t even have to like them. All I need to do is create a drawing and let it be.
Her books list supplies for those who want to try out some of the exercises that she describes. Most of the supplies are also very accessible – easily procured and fairly cheap. This means if you’ve been searching for a new hobby to take up this year, why not try drawing? All you really need is some kind of paper and a pen or pencil. Don’t even have to buy specific items to get started.
I checked out the books from the Denver Library so I encourage you to do the same – check your local library for a copy of one of her books. Her books are unique, almost chaotic at times, so know that going in. But in that chaos is magic, waiting for you. In between the drawings and the lines is the secret that you too can draw. That you have the power to express yourself in images. I’ve included some of the things I’ve drawn since I started her books. can you tell what I was drawing in the image on the left? I had one minute and my eyes were closed! The first image above is a drawing of me, and one of the first I drew. The below image is also a drawing of me. If you end up drawing something, I’d love to see it.