Monday, February 21, 2011

A Sketch a Day....

I'm a firm believer that you make your greatest progress in art (or any skill, for that matter) when you work on it on a regular basis. That is to say, one hour every day of the week beats seven hours on a Sunday. I know this works from experience. I've worked on sketchbooks on a daily basis for several months at a time and usually notice marked improvement. Unfortunately, I often fall off the wagon, and my sketching goes unattended to for long stretches of time.

I've recently started teaching a class in basic storyboarding at the Otis College of Design one day out of the week. This regularity concept is one thing I'd like to impress upon my students. To encourage this, I started an online forum for the class in which they can earn extra credit points by posting a new sketch to the forum every day. To make sure they're not raiding their old sketchbooks for class points, I give them a new assignment every day. I post a new assignment every morning (including holidays and weekends) with a description of a simple scenario for them to draw ("alphabet soup", "monster on a train", "businesspeople playing basketball"). They have 24 hours from the original post time to come up with a sketch (doesn't have to be fancy, even a napkin sketch will do). They get two class points for each sketch. If they do 20 consecutive sketches without missing a day, the point value of those 20 drawings doubles.

Now originally, I was looking for a forum that had a queued posting feature. This is a feature that would allow me to create all my assignments in advance and have them posted automatically at a predetermined date. I didn't like the prospect of getting up early in the morning and dreaded the prospect of posting a new assignment every single day.

Of course, the hypocrisy of this situation finally got to me. How could I expect my students to do a sketch every day when I'm not even willing to even simply post an assignment every day?

So I decided to forgo the queued posting and not only post an assignment every day, but do the assignment with the class as well (actually, I do the assignment a day later than everyone else, so that my art doesn't influence them or hamper their creativity). Here are the sketches I did for the first week. Enjoy!


Click each image for a larger view.