Small projects and tiny unicorns

Another pleasure of small projects is falling into tiny pieces that exist purely to pursue a pleasing line, or to test a sliver of an idea, with no immediate or greater purpose: a single silhouette, a miniature of a tree, a poem, a vignette.


These were some tiny silhouettes I did two years ago, in Brittany at the Arthurian festival at the Château de Comper (an enchanting — and enchanted — place). It was a hot summer day, and I was sitting at our table under a canopy, watching a girl on a unicorn riding towards the food van (“Morgana le Crepe”), listening to French novelists discussing the state of the publishing industry but (without the very able translation of Delia Sherman and Ellen Kushner!) able to say very little more in French than “Harry Potter! Tu es un Sorcier.”



(I don’t think I ever posted about this trip — a bit of catching up to do on sketchbooks!)

The Madding Crowd

Sketching makes me like people more.


I liked these people anyway

People in crowds become individuals. (This does relate to yesterday’s post: Sketch Notes).


Why NOT dance with an inflatable unicorn?

The first time I went to the British Museum, I tried to see the Rosetta Stone. It was easy, crowding forward, to resent everyone else who was in the way. So many people. It can’t mean to them what it does to me.


Some access issues

But when I retreated and got out my sketchbook, suddenly each person was an individual, to whom the stone meant something that made it worth seeing, and I was drawing a picture of people loving it.

And sometimes I’m drawing individuals I love, and realise they are a crowd, a whole.


Readercon 2017, tag yourself

This is one of the reasons I like to sketch during O-Week (Orientation Week). It makes me more benevolent in general, which is always nice when I’m about to start teaching again.


Fairy floss!

Everyone comes into focus, busy in their own way. There’s a degree of headshaking around the annual toga party, but look at them! All those teenagers in bedsheets.


The phones, the wings, the Hercules, the occasional serious cosplayers. Body language is 75% funnier in an inexpertly constructed toga and rugby shorts.