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Saturday, January 8, 2011

On being stuck.

This post is about me. I am stuck and not drawing after the holidays. But I am working through this - and wanted to share how :)

But first of all I would like to mention that image below shows you how I made a little book based on instructions I found on Keri Smith blog. She is incredibly inspiring and innovative author /illustrator/ guerrilla artist who wrote several books for reading and playing with. My favorite ones are living out loud and how to be an explorer of the world :) (Her books can move mountains and may be one day I can write separately about why and how they do this for me - but not today :).
Here is a link to her PDF on making this sort of book:

So here I am - three days without even a drop of ink in my sketchbook, feeling bad about this and realizing that I am not ready to draw through this (which is my usual way of dealing with emptiness of being stuck). Pages of my 5 x 8 book look intimidatingly large. I try to draw little square to draw in it as a start - but it looks too puny. On a whim I hide my book and decide to make a tiny journal - for right now - and fill it with 15 things that I see right this moment in front of me - on my table. And do it all in 15 minutes.

I took a page from my printer and - well here is what I did:
I am stuck - Part 1
And then I drew whatever I saw:
I am stuck Part 2
Rightmost image shows you how this page looks like when I unfold the book. Hmm - may be I should try making a few of these and binding them together...
Anyways - not quite 15 things and all this took me less than 15 minutes - but I felt much better :) And I think I will glue/tape this in my sketchbook next to that puny square - which I am ready to draw in now ;)

Try it out!


  1. Nina, how wonderful! I'd seen that configuration somewhere before, but you've really made it work for you! Glad it helped you get out of your stuck thing. You've worked REALLY hard and consistently the last few years, maybe you just needed the break...

  2. This is great. Sometimes I get stuck. I know that I will feel better when I just make or draw something.

  3. Hi Cathy,

    Thank you for sharing this idea. Really good for kids as well.We will try it for Christmas sketches.Colour paper would be great,too.
    I can't stop looking at your blog.
    So much fun.

    Thank you.

    1. Thanks Hani, I can't take credit for this post though! THis is a group blog, with all the people listed at right...some contribute a lot, some a little. This one was Nina Khashchina...


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