Saturday, September 20, 2008

Random inspiration

A long time ago I was given a creative exercise that I have seen done more recently on other blogs.

The task was to go to a bookshelf in your home, close your eyes, randomly touch a book and pull it out. Open the book, still not looking at the pages, and run your finger down a page stopping at any point. The paragraph at which you stop is the one that you will illustrate. Or if it is an illustration, then you would create that. If it is something such as a table of contents or index, then repeat the paging/paragraph finding motion until you find something to illustrate.

I have just done this and my hand found The Complete Book of Herbs which I opened to page 87 - a full page about elecampane - Inula Helenium. This is one of my favourite herbs and I have a huge plant of it growing in the field as I type.

I will sketch the herb and post tomorrow, but thought it could be an interesting challenge to others to try this exercise as well. Especially those who have lost a little incentive lately as I have.


Rose Welty said...


Anxious to see it. I've been struggling a bit myself. I've been forcing myself to draw things, but I am losing excitement fast! At the library today I came across a book called "What Shall I Paint?", I have my doubts, but I couldn't resist picking it up and seeing what ideas it had.

Jo Castillo said...

This sounds like a plan.... we will anxiously await the herb drawing.

Vic said...

What a good idea and a slightly risky one lol, you never know what you might pull out....look forward to seeing the herbs though.

Jennifer Rose said...

what an interesting thing to try, look forward to your sketch :) I might try too, but my luck I will pick a paragraph thats boring or full of people (I could always draw animals in place of the people I guess)

Robin Neudorfer said...

Interesting idea Jeanette.
I might try it with my fiction books and see what I find.
Anything to keep the ideas flowing.