Saturday, October 18, 2008

Things I like to draw: "marginalized" doodles

Just like the sitcom babies who always seem to be born when their mothers are in confined spaces with no hope of getting the aid of a trained midwife or obstetrician, my ideas also seem to come at inopportune times. Like when I am in the middle of a class.

This has been true since kindergarten. Unfortunately, it meant that a great many of my early masterpieces were confiscated by the authorities and mailed home to my mother with a note: "Tiffany drew this in class when she was supposed to be reading." Eventually, I learned to conceal this habit by drawing in the margins.

I like to think of what I do as a form of creative multitasking.
I was taking notes in microbiology class when the drawing above came to mind.

And this one is from a fiction writing class. You can even see some of the story there, a parody of Kafka's "The Nose" featuring a crooked televangelist who experiences an unusual form of divine retribution. I need to finish that story someday. It could be really funny.
And if you think I only draw while in classes when I lose interest, take a look at these samples from design school:

nothing to do with architecture

nothing to do with Rothko

completely unrelated to Carl André
(but she got her hairstyle from Frida Kahlo)

and this has nothing to do with Jasper Johns.

doodle 2004 Ancient Romans
But the Ancient Roman people above actually were drawn on the day we covered Ancient Rome in my art history class.

doodle 2004 art history class

But she's got little in common with Art Nouveau.

Still, what a great outfit! I doubt I'd have drawn something quite as well if I had put it off until the lecture was over. Really that's what drives these drawings, a sense of urgency, and a compulsion to draw. I am still listening, but I can't just sit still and listen. I have to draw while I listen. And I am always surprised at what comes out of the stray lines in the margins of a notebook.

doodle 2006 reminds me of Island of the Blue Dolphins

glamour girls and smoky eye

And really, that's the reason I save my notebooks. Not for the notes, but for the doodles.

I must confess, I even have done them while taking notes in meetings. I really liked that little tableau in the design center and wanted to capture it.

Still, I've never been entirely certain of what they all mean. As I wrote on the drawing above,

Women with femme fatale faces glaring up at me from the pages of my notebook— do they want to be characters or subjects of paintings?

Maybe they can be both.


  1. Whoa! You really have some talent and imagination there! Those are amazing and very expressive!


Thanks for reading my blog! Comments make me happy. Spam makes me mad.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share This Post