In order to get myself back in gear this summer and prep myself for the drawing classes I’m going to be teaching this semester at Murray State, I delved into the simple but effective EDM drawing challenges. These drawing challenges were started by artist Danny Gregory, whom I’ve been following off and on for about 8 years now. I found his blog somehow and began promoting his books at Maple Street Book Shop, the small, independent store I worked at during my undergraduate studies at Tulane in New Orleans. Ever since I’ve checked back in now and again to be inspired by his productivity and honest commentary on daily life.
I’m also continually impressed by the community that has grown around his work, and around these drawing challenges in particular. “EDM” stands for “Every Day Matters,” which was the very book of his that I once promoted at the shop. The Creative License is another of Gregory’s books, which I have used in 2D Design classes to inspire students who grumble that they “can’t draw” and that they just want to be graphic designers or clothing designers and why do they need to learn to draw, anyway? Sometimes the Creative License tome was just what they needed to get their gears rolling and to quit listing all the things they can’t and/or don’t like to do.
In any case, while at Frogman’s workshop this summer, I happened upon Gregory’s blog again. He was starting to do the EDM Challenges all over himself, and I decided to work on some myself. I wrote down a long list of the challenges from this Master Challenge List and got to work. It’s been fun! I did a whole bunch of them back-to-back at first, and now I have tapered off a bit, but I am sure I will keep returning to them. It feels good just to draw and to give myself assignments. It almost doesn’t matter what it is. It keeps my drawing muscles limber, and it makes me feel great to say that I draw something every day.
If any of you guys are interested in seeing more or trying a few of the challenges yourself, check out the EDM flickr group, the challenges on Danny Gregory’s blog, and the master list of challenges on Karen Winters’ Blog. I’m not really following any of the rules of the challenges–I jump around and do more sometimes, less others–but I don’t think it matters as long as it gets the juices flowing so that I’m salivating for the next drawing or print that I’ll be working on for myself.
In other news, here’s the latest woodblock I carved. It’s in commemoration of the sale of Frogman’s press to Matt Egan. Hopefully I will get a chance to proof it later this week! Frogman’s Press pillows, anyone?