By Joe Infurnari
I ‘ve never really been a mad doodler or a compulsive sketcher. It probably has something to do with being too much of a perfectionist to allow myself to really fall flat on my face. Recently, that changed.
My good friend Jason and I were collaborating on a theater project. The idea was to really fuse our imaginations and the best way to get started on that was to feed them. We would sit down with a stack of typing paper and some colored sharpie markers and just let the markers lead the way. Sometimes we’d swap half way through, rework each others drawings or fill up a page on our own. All the while, there’s music playing and movies on the television. It was a sweat lodge for inspiration.
Now, the theater project is behind us and Jason is a father so we seldom get together. One thing has carried on and that’s my love of doodling. Every night I can, I plop myself down with a stack of typing paper and sharpies; muted anime on TV with the iTunes on shuffle and I draw! The images you see above are just a small sampling of the drawings I’ve done. In fact, these scans represent the very first ‘look’ for the doodles. I call them Loony Sharpie Doodles because of these images.
When I sit down to do these, I often don’t have any artistic agenda or subject in mind. I just give myself permission to really fail. I start in with a color and I follow the markers wherever inspiration takes me. As a result you get a lot of drawings of things that aren’t easily nailed down. Nothing is static with everything in flux. Something happens formally on one page that I carry over or build on in the next. As a dialog starts to form between the drawings, I definitely have a sense there’s an evolutionary process at work. Drawings of a similar look will happen in clusters until one sketch will trigger a new sequence of images. I’ve been doing it long enough now that some of these styles resurface occasionally amid drawings of wildly different appearance. I think this happens thanks to the doodles’ original intent; information gathering. The best way to keep my mind open to new connections and possibilities is to continually challenge my ideas and their visual expression. Some days I would look forward to this nocturnal noodling mostly because I was curious where the drawings were going to take me.
Stay tooned to future Loony Sharpie Doodle posts where I will highlight some of the other visual ideas along the way.