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Daily Creative: April 29, 2020: Sketchy Times

Yesterday we talked about experiencing emotions using the five senses. Seeing our feelings through a three-dimensional lens not only feeds our creative muscle, but can help us move through feelings that we don't like. Today we are going to take one of our feelings we have these days and give it some personality. You can continue to explore the emotion you used yesterday, or pick something different. It's up to you.

I hope you will approach this exercise with humor, compassion, and a sense of fun. Remember, there is no way to do this exercise wrong or right, badly or well. You are playing, exploring, loosening your brain to let in creativity. If you find yourself saying "I can't draw" or something else negative, take a deep breath. Creativity involves risk. It involves bravery. So if this feels uncomfortable, or scary, do it anyway. I'm here to cheer you on. Hurrah! I see you taking risks! I see you playing! I see you building your creative practice!

Grab a pen and paper. I tend to use fine-tip markers because I like the way they feel when writing, but use what feels good to you. Write the emotion you would like to work with today at the top of your paper. Now draw a shape for a head below it. You can use a square, a circle, a triangle, a trapezoid; whatever feels right. Use a shape to make a body. (I tend to avoid necks when making creatures like these, but if you want a neck, go for it!) Then add legs and arm shapes. You have the outline of your character! All you have to do now is fill it in with the details that feel good to you. Make it silly, or scary, or whatever suits the feeling you are working with. Don't spend more than 5 minutes on this, and if you have time left over, make another one. Even cartoon characters need friends. Maybe this second one is the opposite emotion or a variation on what you've already done. No wrong answers.

If you find this exercise fun I encourage you to find work by Lynda Barry. She is a cartoonist and professor and her books are works of cartoon. They are marvelous to read and works of art themselves. And totally, completely fun.

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