MCASD's 'Brain Trash' and Other Sources of Inspiration

Next month, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego will open a new exhibit featuring the work of James Drake. According to MCASD, the exhibit will include over 1,200 of Drake's drawings, which he created after embarking on a challenge back in 2012 to draw every day.

I love this idea of getting to see inside an artist's process and I can't wait to go check out James Drake: Anatomy of Drawing and Space (Brain Trash) at MCASD's Downtown campus this summer. It sounds incredible.

As a kid, I loved to draw. I loved to sketch and create cartoon characters. I probably drew every day. As an adult, however, I hardly ever drew. So back in September, I was inspired by Elizabeth and MJ to start a drawing challenge. I "challenged" myself to draw every day for a month. And I convinced two friends to join me.

30-day challenges are all the rage these days. It seems like there is a challenge for everything. You can challenge yourself to journal every day or to write a thank you note or to avoid processed foods. The majority of these challenges are not for me, but I understand where the interest in them stems from. As Matt Cutts suggested in his TED Talk, these types of challenges offer folks a chance to climb out of a rut or try something they have always wanted to do. My challenge motivated me to get back into something I used to love to do -- draw. And it forced me to make time for it. Even if it was only for a few minutes a day.

Fast forward nine months, I have about 100 drawings. If you do the math, it's clear that I didn't kept up with the drawing-on-a-daily-basis-thing. But I have drawn more lately than I had in the last, say, 15 years. This makes the challenge experience a success in my book. (To be honest, the likes and comments about my drawings from friends also helped motivate me.)

I've posted most of my drawings on Instagram. (My personal account is private. If you'd like to follow along, just ask.) Some of the drawings are of family members. Some are of friends. Some are random people from magazines that I've been hoarding for years. (I knew they would be good for something!) A lot of the drawings are bad. Some of them are decent. Here are a few of my favorites:

Speaking of habits, have you read Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit? As nonfiction books go, it was an easy read. Now, I'm just trying to figure out how I'm going to apply it to my life.

P.S. My very talented friend Micah started drawing with me back in September. Now her challenge has evolved into a very cool new project. After Day 100, Micah decided to start turning her daily sketches into short children's books, which she posts each week here. I love love love what she is doing and I hope you will go check out her work right now.