Observation Journal: Work at Play

Four very tiny unicorn drawings, in ballpoint pen lines on gridded paper with a little bit of blue watercolour for the shadow.

Tiny unicorn drawings, from a mid-April Lessons Learned page of the Observation Journal. These led directly to the unicorn calendar.

A printable calendar page for May 2020, with a design of unicorns and vines on a starry twilight-blue background.

I’ve been giving some school workshops on drawing tiny things, and quite apart from all the other uses of drawing small, the playfulness of it always charms me.

A hand-written page from the observation journal, with tiny writing of various lessons learned, and also small unicorns.

A lot of these notes were specific to the week of 14-17 April 2020! But an ongoing lesson is that I am most likely to work on a project if there is impetus and enjoyment — a sense of catching the wave of a project, and of play. Ideally, I’d have both, but either one can help create the other.

That week, I worked out a way to restart a sense of both momentum and play on a dragging project. The first 15 minutes (at least) of a work block (or longer at the beginning of a project) should be time to tinker — to try out the tools on fun little drawings, or riff on scenes, or write silly little variations on the core idea. It warms the project up again, and gets some traction, and helps me to like the work again.

2 thoughts on “Observation Journal: Work at Play

  1. Pingback: March 2021 — round-up of posts | Kathleen Jennings

  2. Pingback: Observation Journal — unsubstantiated manifesto | Kathleen Jennings

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