I have always have been a big fan of drawing whilst listening. Some of my favourite things to draw have been born out of attending my old University lectures, pen and paper in hand. Notice how I am not calling this ‘doodling’. That word, to me, is a bit lacklustre. It can be defined as:
- Scribble absentmindedly.
- Engage in idle activity; dawdle: “they could plan another attack while we’re just doodling around”.
I like to think my drawing has more of a purpose, an outpouring of something, a visual description of someone I am interested in, etc.
Sitting with pen in hand can make me listen better, and also can help me from becoming bored. It’s also one of my favourite things: productive. If I’m sat down, watching something, or someone – I feel much more at ease and able to relax if I’m keeping myself busy with something creative… of course I don’t do this all the time as there is a need to just sit and be sometimes, but I do notice myself enjoying it more if I’m creatively stimulated in some way.
This does come with a risk of becoming distracted by the drawing – paying it too much attention. Although that’s not really a problem in my eyes. I welcome that, especially as I am trying to put more value and importance on drawing.
This week I am volunteering as a Host Delegate at the International Conference on Culture Health and Wellbeing in Bristol, an Arts and Health South-West event. I am spending the beginning of this week ushering people around, telling speakers when they have one minute left of their talks, ticking people off lists, handing things out, being a friendly face, being a bit of a Bristol tour-guide and most interestingly, sitting in on lots of talks on a variety of subjects based around Health and Wellbeing, by lots of interesting speakers.
And I have been drawing.
A workshop on ‘The Cancer Journey’ and ‘Dying Creatively’ very interesting subjects, and I picked up a really interesting titbit: how we humans have so many ways of talking about death and dying, by getting it into conversation: ‘drop dead gorgeous’, ‘dead easy’, ‘dead set’, ‘dead end’, ‘dying to meet him’. A way of making it a softer subject? So that when we have to deal with it, it’s not something wholly new. We’ve been saying the words all along.
Lots of words and sayings in todays drawings: ‘Engaged in a collective endeavour’ (I forgot the U!) ‘Feeling is healing’, a suggestion to say “can we talk about what it’ll be like when you die” to the people around you, to prepare and engage with it. Another suggestion to ‘talk about death in a funny way’ – a coping strategy, and a good way to ‘be’ about it. The ‘What Ever’ is mine – no one said that! Onward to day 3!
Day 3: Too busy running about to draw. Boo hoo!