Summer of Sketching Week 3: Quantity over Quality
Last week I asked you to make a sketch about WHY you create. Once again it was amazing to see all the entries come in through #summerofsketching. It's not easy nor comfortable to do that deep inner work, so huge props to everyone who shared their WHY.
Learning to draw FAST
Quick story before this week's prompt:
My freelance project for Mozilla this past week was focused on generating awareness about the fight for internet rights. I spent all day Friday & Saturday outside alongside 2 other artists making custom hand-drawn tote bags that were given away for free to people on the street.
Each person would choose an internet-related phrase, and we had to letter it on a black tote bag using a fat white paint marker.
The most challenging part was trying to create pieces in 2-3 minutes that people would actually want to wear. Click the image below to see a little process time lapse I posted on Twitter.
Through this tote bag project I was able to try out a bunch of different styles that I hadn't explored before. Sure, they weren't up to my highest standards of quality, but I learned a lot through the process and gained some new muscle memory.
This week I want challenge you to do something similar. It's more of a technical challenge so I'm leaving the content up to you.
This week’s prompt: QUANTITY
We often hear people say "quality over quantity", and in many cases I would agree. However I don't think the creative process works like that.
Tip of the week:
You can't create QUALITY work without first focusing on QUANTITY.
I was reminded of this in a recent episode of the Creative Pep Talk podcast about making authentic work. The host Andy Miller said something like, "If you're not creating piles of work, you're doing it wrong."
It's easy to forget this when what we mostly see from others is just the finished piece. You're not seeing the brainstorming and ideation that goes into the process. For example, this is what my sketchbook looks like when I'm coming up with ideas:
Create Thumbnail Sketches
This week, before focusing your time on refining one concept, I want you to create at least 20 small "thumbnail" sketches. Fill up multiple pages in your sketchbook, draw on a larger piece of paper or even on a bunch of post-its. If you're drawing digitally, you can use layers.
If you want a time constraint, try setting an alarm on your phone for 20 minutes. That should get your hand moving. ✍️
Yes, they are going to start out ugly, and that's the point.
Of course, you don't have to share all of your messy sketches if you don't want to, but I think it would be cool :) Remember — these prompts are optional and you can still post whatever sketches you want with #summerofsketching.
This idea of quantity first, quality second a fundamental principle for me and so many other creatives I know, so I'd encourage you to give it a shot even if it's not how you normally work.
If you have any questions or feedback, I'm here to help. Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to respond soon.