Carly Swenson • Intuitive Artist

artist’s way, week three: artist date

lyric sketch 1, october 2011
lyric sketch 1, october 2011

For my third artist date, I spent two hours sketching.  I placed my iPod on shuffle, used my large sketchbook and black pen (the one I really like, because the ink flows really well) and simply listened to the lyrics.

I unconsciously sketched imagery the music inspired in my mind.  It was freeing to simply draw, and let the music influence me. It was also relaxing to just focus on the process.

I like sketching with ink because it forces me to resist any temptation to erase and start again.  When I draw with pen, I sketch and move on, if I don’t like particular lines I can ignore them and continue sketching or develop and alter them until I like the image more.  It forces me to problem solve with my own work, as well as forcing myself to be more gentle on me as an artist.  I have to let things go, embrace the process–including any perceived mistakes.

lyric sketch II, october 2011
lyric sketch II, october 2011

I was pleased with my date.  I had been postponing it for about three days before I made myself sit down and finally have my date. Cameron warned in her book that people are generally tempted to cancel their artist’s dates—I am not sure why exactly, but it seems true.

You may notice the third sketch doesn’t quite look finished.  That’s because it isn’t finished. My adorable little white dog decided it would be fun to eat the cord of my iPod player (for the second time, so obviously they are delicious and just super fun to chew on) thus ending my little music/sketch session.

I would like to do this one again sometime—once my iPod player works again.

lyric sketch III, october 2011
lyric sketch III, october 2011

12 Replies to “artist’s way, week three: artist date”

  1. I love your sketches. It feels to me like it takes a lot of courage to do what you are doing – sketching, painting, spilling your soul in colors and textures and visuals. I admire that very much.


    1. That is so nice to hear. It certainly doesn’t feel that artistically courageous. I sort of feel guilty that I haven’t been doing this before–as if this is what art should be about? I don’t know, that may have come out wrong. Anyway–thank you so much for taking the time to check out my work as I am trying this whole Artist’s Way business. I really do appreciate your kind words of support. Seriously, thank you.


    1. Thanks so much. I find sketching with pen more freeing because I just have to leave mistakes and move on, or work creatively to fix them. I can’t just draw, erase, draw, erase, etc. Ink just works better for me.


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