My New Year’s Resolution: In 2012, I Will Humiliate Myself Publicly On This Blog

What passes for an illustration on this blog today.

I love reading illustrated blogs — blogs with cartoons, watercolors, or even doodles. But although some of my posts have included photos, graphs, and even a few images I’ve cobbled together with Photoshop, I’ve never posted any original drawings. The reason for that is simple: I can’t draw. At all. Which leads me to my first resolutions:

Resolution #1: I will attempt to learn how create some kind of original freehand illustration that won’t make me cringe with embarrassment. (Any suggestions on how to accomplish this would be greatly appreciated).

Resolution #2: I will post some of my attempts on this blog, even though I don’t really expect to achieve the “won’t make me cringe with embarrassment” part of Resolution #1.

Also, because of recent events:

Resolution #3: I will not buy any flashlights in 2012.

Resolution #4: I will acquire some matches.

And finally:

Resolution #5: I will make Sugar Plum Awareness Month a reality in 2012. Sugar plum fact of the day: sugar plums are the most popular of all the flavored plum confections, outshining vinegar plums, anchovy plums, and even wasabi plums.

Happy New Year!

33 thoughts on “My New Year’s Resolution: In 2012, I Will Humiliate Myself Publicly On This Blog

  1. I look forward to seeing your illustrated blog. I recently posted some beginning drawings that would make you cringe when I started out, under On Getting Here from There.

    You may want to view some online works of German Expressionism. I love, love the vibrancy of color during this artistic movement. One of my favorite artists is Fernando Botero. Maybe try copying artists you like and add your own flavor to the work as you go along. I’ve never had great success at charcoals but you may like them. A bit messy, they are, however. Some beginning artists try watercolor but actually, it’s a very difficult medium. I only started using it after a long while of using acrylics and trying my hand at oils.

    Try abstracts first and get a feel for mood through colors. And do look at the Cubist Movement. Even try simple ink drawings can be fun. I’ll hop over to check you out.
    Happy New Year!

    1. Are you kidding me? I’ll be thrilled if I can draw anything like your “beginning drawings that would make you cringe” at the end of the year.

      Regarding expressionism: my sister once took me to an exhibition of paintings by her favorite artist at the time, Paul Klee. I thought they were the ugliest things I’d ever seen in my life. Many years later, a friend had some prints on her wall that I loved, and the artist turned out to be Paul Klee. So I think I have a 50-50 chance of liking Fernando Botero — I’ll have to check him out.

    1. But I don’t want to draw for dummies. I want to draw for intelligent and sophisticated people like you.

      But you’re right — I probably do need more step-by-step, hand-holdy help.

  2. Well, you know xkcd.net. If he can get away with stick figures, I am expecting you to do that by the end of the year, too. Look at some of the earliest xkcd.nets. Later, you can give userfriendly.org a try – I am sure you can draw dust-puppy minus the feet. Or Erwin.

    1. I’ll have to check out userfriendly.org. xkcd is misleading — even though he uses stick figures, they’re still better drawings than I could do (there’s scenery, and the stick figures appear in different poses and somehow manage to convey emotion). If I actually wanted to create a webcomic (instead of just occasional rabdin illustrations), I’d probably use the approach taken by Basic Instructions or Dinosaur Comics — create (somehow) a few good pictures, and keep reusing them with new dialogue.

  3. It never hurts to have more than one flashlight as long as you have plenty of batteries. I’m looking forward to your new illustrated blog! You go for it. We love pictures!

    1. I bought six flashlights in a two-week period. That works out to 156 flashlights a year (or almost 157 in 2012, since it’s a leap year, or maybe just 152, if the world ends on December 21).

  4. Oh. my. gosh. Are you saying we are NOT supposed to publicly humiliate ourselves on our blogs? I totally read the memo wrong. And I cannot wait for Sugar Plum Awareness month. Looking forward to lots more good posts from you.

    1. This is wrong on so many levels:

      1. What are you even talking about? There are no 28-day months this year.
      2. You’re basing your argument on the assumption that more is necessarily better, but you haven’t provided any evidence to back that claim.
      3. Even if more does turn out to be better, we don’t know which month is longer: February is guaranteed to have 29 days. December may have 31 days, or it may end after 21.

  5. I find that many of the people who say they ‘can’t draw’ are being more than just a little modest (and I have a hunch that includes you, Laura)!
    I’m really looking forward to checking out your illustrations – it’s gonna be wonderful!
    :)

  6. I recommend the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Of course, there’s always the mail-order puppy drawing lessons you can find in the back of Archie comic books, if that’s more what you have in mind.

    1. I actually own that book! Someone gave it to me many years ago. I think at the time, I decided the first exercise was too hard, so I didn’t pursue it. I’ll have to give it another try.

  7. What I’m really looking forward to are your illustrations for the next Sugar Plum Awareness Month.

    And you’re quiet right about xkcd — its simplicity is extremely deceptive. There is a lot of decent art there. But then, the “simple” art is often the hardest. Way back in the late ’70s when I was pretending to be a commercial artist, whenever I had to create an outline-style drawing, I’d first do a full work up, then trace over it. Trying to do an actual “simple” outline was pretty much impossible for me.

  8. The best way to learn how to draw is to lure a starving artist into your basement with some food, and then lock him in there. Then either have him teach you drawing, or just let him draw and post his drawings as your own. As long as he doesn’t escape, no one will ever know.

  9. I’m sure your drawings will be wonderful. If it’ll make you feel better, I can draw something (I can’t draw), and then you’ll see how awful I am, and you’ll feel better.

  10. Shoot. I thought the whole idea of a blog WAS to publicly humiliate ourselves. Hmm. Maybe I need to take it to the next level by learning to draw too. And uh, what’s a sugar plum?

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