📝 Tools of the trade
⭐️⭐️⭐️ The sketchbook as a net, mornings, systems vs goals.
This is from ‘The shape of ideas’, by Grant Snider that was given to me by my artist friend. This paragraph has stayed with me and inspired me for years.
There’s so much to unpack here.
Work before work
One for 11 years, Grant snider has worked ‘before work’ creating with the aim of creating a single comic strip a week. These have gone on to be collected into best selling books. But this idea of spending time outside of work, and importantly before work to patiently create, is a powerful one.
I heard a similar story from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert. For 5 years he woke up at 4 in the morning and worked on Dilbert before going to his job in the telephone company.
⭐️ Anyone can work before ‘work’ to create something of value that their future self can enjoy and profit from.
Goals and process
Grant Snider’s latest collection of incidental comics is out now in a book called ‘the art of living’. One can only assume that he’s stuck to this process and continues to work on his goal of doing one full page comic strip a week.
There is often this silly argument of systems vs goals. The conclusion is invariably you need both.
⭐️ Have a goal, and a system to achieve it.
Grant’s goal is to complete a page a week, his system is to collect ideas in a sketchbook then guzzle coffee while he shapes them into something useful.
A sketchbook is a net
Notice that Grant doesn’t just meet the blank page with the coffee. He comes armed with a sketchbook full of stray ideas. This act of collecting ideas is a skill in itself. I’m going to do more investigation about how exactly Grant uses his sketchbook to collect these stray ideas.
But I’ve noticed many prolific artist and writers have some form of practice to catch ideas for later.
Have a project to let those idea seeds flower
⭐️ Catch ideas for later.
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