In late December 2016, after being stuck in a bit of a creative rut, I picked up a stack of blank white index cards with the objective of filling them up as quickly as possible. I tried to keep the content open-ended, and with some variation, gravitated toward loose collections of drawings and words. I managed to keep a pretty steady pace of doing about 5-10 cards a night on-and-off, finishing the lot around March.

Most of the cards stand on their own, though sometimes connections emerged in a pair or a series, and ideas or shapes that came up earlier in the process would occasionally reappear later. Some of these connections were intentional at the time, and some were only noticeable after the fact. I’m sure you’d see some that I didn’t, and vise-versa. I was usually listening to music while making these; a lot of the words incorporated are lyrics from whatever song happened to be playing at the time, which tended to impact the character of the drawings as well. It’s surprising how often the timing of repeated pen strokes can match up with rhythms in music.

Looking back, a lot of the creative block I was in stemmed from obsessing about planning things, wanting to have all the details worked out before I even started. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this project was re-learning how to lose myself in the work a little and trust myself to produce something worthwhile. It’s easy to get so afraid to let go that you forget to experiment – finding new ideas necessarily involves being willing to follow something that happened in your work that you didn’t intend. This sort of repetitive half-automatic half-conscious workflow was really helpful in that respect. When the stated goal is “finish 10 cards tonight” instead of “draw something that I or someone else will approve of,” it’s easier to give yourself permission to chase a dead end, or try something weird, or to make a mess of things. It lets you stop worrying about everything outside of the ink on the page.