One of my all-time favorite drawing games with my kids is called Exquisite Corpse.
Put simply: two or more people draw a head/torso/legs without looking at each other’s drawings.
We made a silly video to show you how its done:
It’s probably worth pointing out that Exquisite Corpse actually started out with the Surrealist writers, as a kind of proto-MadLib such as:
The [adjective] [noun] [adverb] [verb] the [adjective] [noun].
This is where the name “Exquisite Corpse” came from:
Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau. (The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine.)
It’s fun because it’s a cooperative game, not a competitive one.
I’m now thinking it would be fairly easy to do an musical Exquisite Corpse in GarageBand: you’d pick a tempo and a key, one person could make a beat, then the next person could make a bassline without listening to the beat, and the next person could make a melody without listening to either. Then you could play it back and see what it sounds like. (I’m going to try this and I’ll let you know how it goes!)
On Friday, March 18th, I’ll be back at SXSW giving a talk to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Steal Like an Artist, followed by a book signing.
I did not know how my first in-person event in 2 years was going to go, but I have to say, I had a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone who came out — the signing was almost an hour long! Loved seeing y’all.
— Austin Kleon (@austinkleon) March 18, 2022
Loved hearing @austinkleon’s ??? words on how we thrive as diverse creatives with many passions and facets.
He signed my copy of #StealLikeAnArtist: “One woman, in her time, plays many parts.” -Shakespeare
Keeping these words in ? and ??
Living it ?@sxsw #sxsw #SXSW22 pic.twitter.com/L2Dcqt4Tmx
— caitlinkrause (@MindWise_CK) March 18, 2022
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Steal Like an Artist, we’re releasing a limited gift edition on March 15th:
- first time in hardcover
- bigger trim size
- fancy ribbon bookmark & endpapers
- new afterword
If you’d like a signed and personalized copy, purchase from Bookpeople.
Otherwise, head to your local bookstore or buy it online.
And here’s Keep Going:
The results are not only funny, they sort of make great summaries for the books.
You can try the tool here.
Here are some light pages from my diary: a record of all the Wordle games our family played together in February.
How we play: the boys (Owen is 9, Jules is 6) get to choose the first word — the weirder or naughtier the better! — and then we all make suggestions until we have it solved.
If you’re playing competitively, against others or your own record, the challenge is to guess the right word in as few steps as possible.
But when we play together, there seems to be a correlation between how many guesses and how much fun we have. The more time it takes the better.
Why would I go to the trouble of recording these in my diary?
I used to feel like a good diary was one in which you wrote down Important Things That Happened To You, but the more I write mine, the more I think it’s the tiny, almost insignificant details, accurately rendered, that bring you back to where you were.
The same way you think the Big Important Rituals are what’s going to matter to your family, when it’s really the small, silly ones you’ll probably remember most fondly…
spiral (verb) 1. to move in the shape of a spiral 2. to continuously become worse, more, or less
Here’s how you do it:
1. Set aside 10 minutes and start with a fresh page in your notebook. Follow Lynda Barry’s instructions for drawing a spiral: Start in the very center of the page, and make the tightest spiral you can manage, trying to get the lines as close as you can without touching. (More in her wonderful book, Syllabus, and check out another version over at Wendy MacNaughton’s Draw Together.) You’ll know when you’re done.
2. Once you have your spiral, start annotating it with your feelings and thoughts, everything weighing on you or bothering you. (Wendy calls this “inside weather.”) Catalog what’s on the surface, towards the outside of the spiral, and what’s deep, on the inside.
3. Go about your day.
I can’t claim that it’s solved anything for me, but it has helped me feel a little less anxious, a little more calm.
(See also: “Spin art.”)
In today’s newsletter, I demonstrate how I use a dry erase marker and a transparency sheet to make poems like this one: