Recently, I started drawing rocks. I know. It’s kind of weird, but I think there are a few surprising reasons why.
Last summer, during a flight to Tokyo, the excitement of returning to my favourite place on earth had my inspired to make something, anything, as a way to pass the 14 hour flight. I sat there with a fairly new iPad in hand. Ready to draw, without any ideas.
Eventually I settled for irony. To use my new digital tool to draw one of the earliest tools of humanity, the sharp flint known as a “handaxe”.
I quickly realised it’s possible to draw these rock forms in many ways, but most importantly, there is no right way to draw a rock shape. Which perfectly alleviated my worry of drawing something perfectly. Drawing is not a strength of mine.
What's nice about being beckoned by these objects is they aren’t inspired by something I saw online like many 'inspirations' which find their way into my subconscious these days. It’s quite likely rooted in growing up in the Welsh countryside. Surrounded by mountains, forests and, well, rocks. Slate mining has shaped the landscape for many areas in Wales. You often drive past aqua lagoons surrounded by shimmering hills of black slate. Untouched for decades.
As a creative director working on digital experiences, I suffer the same fate as many: projects can take a long time to bear fruit or unreleased for the public to see. Drawing allows me to make at least something fairly quickly. If only scratching the itch of creation momentarily. Drawing these rocks are also something I can improve over time. Returning to old sketches with a fresh gaze. Adding details or approaching an idea in a new way. Becoming more ambitious with each attempt.
Environmental context influences when I draw rocks. Sketching them doesn’t take up any brain power beyond the initial idea. It’s a free flowing process chipping away at getting the lighting right. So moments where I don’t have the time or space to drop into the creative flow, but still want to make something are perfect opportunities. All sketches have been made watching Netflix, during a flight or train journey.
If you’re a creative person, who has similar moments to create but don’t know where to get started, maybe you just need to find your rock equivalent, unique to you. For now, these facets are merely doodles which I enjoy drawing to help pass time and create without concern. Who knows, maybe these doodles will lead to something much bigger someday.
See more sketches on my instagram
Thanks for reading.