Summer Sketchbook Un-Slump

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“My plan is to surprise myself.” 
Bob Burridge, talking about collage making
This is one of my favorite quotes! It got me thinking, when was the last time we set out to surprise ourselves? Doing this can be so freeing--it helps us let go and allows things to unfold however they are meant to. Not having control might not be the easiest thing to do but trust the process--I've seen first hand how much discovery and magic can happen this way!


Some inspiration / techniques / questions to spark ideas
and help you interpret and apply “surprise” this week:
  • So many unexpected elements in this art piece! Is there one method you can try?
  • Close your eyes. Close your eyes AND use your less dominant hand.
  • This reveal using tape! Is there a way you can layer and uncover? 
  • Dragging a ball and chain (ex 1, more examples) or pulling string (ex 1, ex 2)
  • Splatter, throw, flick! These techniques never end up how I imagine they would!
  • The effect of this is so lovely! I've always liked pop-up books and this takes that idea to the next level!
  • Fold paint between paper. What twists can you add to this?
  • Make your own paints/dyes from spices, fruits, veggies. Guess what colors they'd make--was it what you expected?
  • Is there a method you can use to apply your medium without seeing the results right away?
  • Can you add a reactive element? (Ex: alcohol or salt to watercolors)
  • Create with a friend: start the first half then have a friend finish it or go back and forth taking turns until it's done!
  • Surprise someone: Use a technique that surprises you to create a card or piece of art. Add a note and snail mail it to a loved one or surprise a stranger and leave it in a public place for someone to find.
Once you pick an idea, decide how you'll approach it throughout the week based on your schedule. Does it work best to break it into bite sized chunks or dedicate longer sessions to it? Do whatever is easiest for you to stick to!


Especially when we use methods that are surprising, things might not turn out how we want them to--sometimes that's good, sometimes not so much! It happens, that's OK. That's what we're exploring here! What happens if you try again? Should you walk away and revisit later? Is there something you can do differently the next time? Or are you really not feeling it and need to move on? Listen to your gut for guidance and don't get discouraged. Keep going--there's so many times I look at what I'm making and want to trash it but once I continue working, it turns into something I actually like!

I'm excited for the surprises that await you in your creative practice this week!
I'll check in with you on Wednesday, talk to you then!
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PS: Hit reply and let me know what week 2 looks like for you! If I get it by Tues AM PST, I'll include it in the check-in email. If it's past that deadline, I'd still like to hear/see and include it in a gallery I'm putting together! If sharing on social, tag #ssus2022 @atiliay so I don't miss it! 
PPS: Here's a pic of my final gouache piece and a short process video set to “Wildflowers". I also wanted to share two more projects from our community from Week 1:
KIM (left) created a blind contour drawing--upside down for the first time! She also made her own sketchbook using materials she already had. 
CLAUDIA (right) used palette knives for the first time! She used them to apply gouache, a different color everyday, then finished it with rose gold pigment mixed with mod podge.

Waiting Game Yellowcard 4:15
I was not expecting violin when I first listened to this band but love how they incorporate it!
Dancing In The Dark Cannons 3:34
Covers can be such a good surprise! Here's a playlist of more from BBC Radio 1
(Harry Styles covering Lizzo, Sam Smith covering Bruno Mars, etc.)
The Voice Blind Audition Compilation 17:59
I love listening first then seeing who is singing!
Permission To Dance BTS 4:59
Did you know they included international sign language for “enjoy," “dance," and “peace” in their choreography?
I was really surprised and touched by that!

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