Everything is better when we draw together
Are you all familiar with Wendy Mac and Draw Together? Much like Mac’s Book Club Show, Draw Together began live on Instagram in the earliest days of the pandemic as an impromptu daily art class for kids stuck at home. Illustrator Wendy Mac danced, sang, drew, talked about feelings, and snuggled Suso the Dog with the help of her wife and iPhone videographer, Art Assistant Caroline. It was a brilliant labor of love and I know for a fact that the amount of work that went into it was herculean. These ladies are heroes.
Eventually, Draw Together graduated from IGTV. Wendy and Caroline built an incredible studio where they filmed a more produced, yet still hilarious, scrappy, madcap, moving, and visually beautiful season of DT.
These days it’s also a podcast, a newsletter, and free art education curriculum (heroes!) and you can find it all right here. Slowpoke the newsletter heartily endorses Draw Together the newsletter. Everything really is better when we draw together.
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I got to be a special guest on the Draw Together podcast this week. I explained Transmundane Tuesdays, chose some prompts, and drew them with Wendy, who is truly one of my favorite people. We had fun! See her drawing and listen here.
Draw a Fish
In 1719, Louis Renard, a dutch bookseller, illustrated and published what was intended to be a scientific catalogue of marine life in the East Indies. It’s since become one of history’s great art books, thanks in part to Biodiversity Heritage Library who digitally archived it. It’s called Fishes, crayfish and crabs, of various colors and extraordinary figures, which one finds around the Moluccas islands and on the coasts of the Austral lands.
Renard never traveled to Indonesia, where these sea creatures are supposed to have lived. Instead, he read descriptions of them and copied the art of other people. He relied especially on the illustrations of Samuel Fallour, a Dutch East India Company soldier who collaborated with Indonesian artists and who probably embellished a lot in order to make his own art more appealing to collectors back in Europe. The resulting book is a wild, gorgeous, cross-cultural feat of illustration that is part natural history, part fantasy and folklore. Biodiversity Heritage Library estimates that 9% of the creatures in it, including a mermaid, are totally imaginary.
Here’s an art assignment:
PAINT YOUR OWN FISH.
Don’t work from a photo. Work from memory and from the most energized and daring reaches of your imagination. Experiment with color, pattern, and mark making.
If you would like to share your specimen, post it on instagram and tag it #slowpokesealife.
Okay, farewell for now. I can’t wait to see your fish.
P.S. There are a lot of bioluminescent creatures to see at #glovedglowingelder. There are even some fantastic fish.