Draw Like a Child: Take Chances, Make Mistakes, and Find Your Artistic StyleDraw Like a Child: Take Chances, Make Mistakes, and Find Your Artistic Style by Haleigh Mun
My rating: 4/5 cats
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this book is meant to encourage folks to be brave enough to draw whatever you want and innocent enough to make mistakes. Ignore the rules of what makes art “Art” and toss aside any inhibitions you have in order to draw as freely as possible.

i harbor no illusions about my own artistic skills, which are at least 40% mistakes, and i have no inhibitions about showing off my mediocrity, but i’m still gonna have fun with this book’s series of exercises and prompts and continue to draw like the overgrown child i am! WHAT WILL HAPPEN? LET’S FIND OUT!

JUNE 1: draw anything that comes to mind on this pink background. think of something that isn’t pink in real life.

so, my real problem when it comes to drawing is that i’m not particularly creative and can never think of *what* to draw. i am someone who requires direction. so i decided to use wikipedia’s “random article” feature to “tell” me what to draw on this here pink background. wikipedia told me to draw MOOSE MOUNTAIN. and so i did.


JUNE 2: close your eyes and reach into your pencil collection. pull out a random selection of five colors and use only this limited palette to create your piece.

this is great because it leaves EVERYTHING up to fate—the colors AND the content!

here is fate’s rainbow:

olive green, lilac, tuscan red, crimson red and one without a name that i shall prosaically call “gray.”

wikipedia challenged me to draw “Macrobathra porphyrea,” but refused to provide a picture of whateverthehell that is. i asked google to intervene, and was rewarded with this:

so i drawed this:

a fuzzy slenderman-alien with a case of the wing-pox!

JUNE 3: draw a person riding a bike, using your left hand if you are a righty, or your right hand if you’re a lefty.

honestly, this came out better than i thought it would, and it’s probably pretty close to how i would draw a bike using my awesome left hand. i realized, while drawing this, that i have no idea what a bicycle looks like.

JUNE 4: draw one big dog and four small cats

don’t mind if i do! this is a bad photo but it’s the best i can do right now. long wearying day and it’s a miracle i was able to even get the drawing thing done. sorry sorry meow

JUNE 5: draw an underwater animal tea party

don’t ask me how this works w/r/t gravity/buoyancy and soggy sandwiches. i’m a CHILD, remember? goo goo gah gah&etc.

JUNE 6: fill in six squares depicting your day

THIS IS WHAT I DID! (and what i am going to do; i cheated a little)

JUNE 7: draw a big flower + a small bear

if i were a cleverer person, i would have drawn a big sack of flour and a tiny glass of beer. as it is, i am just a directions-following sheep. this is not fridge-worthy.

JUNE 8: make an illustration while holding your tool using your whole fist

first of all, a note to Haleigh Mun:

second of all, i once again turned to wikirandom for inspiration, and that bastard told me to draw a play!!!

Wall is a 2009 play by David Hare, in the form of a monologue. It was first performed in March 2009 at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre by the author himself, directed by Stephen Daldry. Its topic is the Israeli Security Barriers in the West Bank and Gaza and it is intended by Hare as a companion piece to his monologue Berlin and its passages on the Berlin Wall. Both monologues were later performed together as Berlin/Wall at The Public Theater, Broadway in May 2009.

challenge accepted! from my fisted tool to your eyes, here is the fruit of mine and wikipedia’s loins:

i didn’t color this one in because it would have turned into even more of a mess than it is in plain old pencil.

JUNE 9: draw the covers of books you have recently read.

now this is my kind of challenge! no need to appeal to wikipedia today—i got this!

for reference:

apologies to Nathan W. Pyle for forgetting to include your name on your book cover. and to all the artists for what i’ve done here to your fine work.

JUNE 10: if you could spend a day with your childhood pet, draw what you would do

this is strider. he was a Very Good Boy.

JUNE 11: if you were an animal, what animal would you be?

pretty easy question for me. someone come splice my genes already.

JUNE 12: draw a planet surrounded by creatures

dear bezos-in-space: if you are planning a trip to donut planet, make haste. it will not be around for much longer…

JUNE 13: draw at a park

i drew many things, with no regard for perspective or scale or how humans—even humans playing soccer—are supposed to have arms. anyway, this is what it looked like at 7 am at the park across the street from me: there was soccer and a woman practicing a dance routine while another woman watched her from the swings, there was a man helping another man exercise (that is neither an electric chair nor a wheelchair; it’s one of those ‘put your arms on the long padded things and bring them close to your body’ things that’s for the arms? or pecs? i dunno, i don’t exercise), and a lone man exercising his muscles (bumps = muscles in my drawing—i excel at anatomy), and what else? some birds, some water fountains shooting out of the ground, and me! in case you want to see MY SOURCE MATERIAL, it is here:

and it’s PERFECT!

JUNE 14: draw your childhood pets

here are some of the sad soft parts in my heart.

JUNE 15: draw your last weekend

i went to A RESTAURANT for the first time in over a year (and saw DANA for the first time in…many years), i caught-and-released the first firefly of the season, i hand-fed some squirrels, i was slobber-attacked by hudson at work, and i ate too much chicken and cheese and fruits with connor AND THAT WAS LAST WEEKEND!

btw, this is hudson:

he is my favorite customer and the best part of my workingday, but also a very naughty boy. he jumped into the hudson river (no relation) the other day, chasing a GOOSE!

JUNE 16: draw a dinner table. place your favorite food in the middle and other delicious things around it. try drawing as if you are above the table looking down on the scene

another badly-lit photo i will fix when i’m not half-asleep, whenever that is. i deviated slightly from the prompt—my favorite food is not “a seam of cured meat,” but this is absolutely my favorite mealshape: grazing on little bites of fruit and meat and cheese and nuts and etc. gout = #lifegoals.

JUNE 17: draw the place where you are watching the show. be sure to include the screen of your TV or tablet in your drawing

this is the third of the “netflix and sketch” prompts, in case that wording made you feel like you were entering into a conversation already in progress. the book encourages skipping around, so i haven’t yet done the other teevee challenges, but this is me watching top chef from my cozy bed.

JUNE 18: draw a bird dance party. this could be birds dancing in the sky, birds with two legs dancing on the ground just like humans, or something else entirely

welcome to my future, where the birds dance merrily on my grave. quick question about that prompt, though—are there birds with more than two legs?


JUNE 19: draw a big person + a small house

i thought that house was yellow when i was coloring it. what a fun, unpredictable time can be had by drawing in the dark!

JUNE 20: draw the place you most recently visited

weeeee don’t travel during pandemics, so here’s a picture of Where I Went Today: the frozen treat aisle of the grocery store, where i bought several different flavors of outshine bars and ate them at connor’s. we can pretend they were exotic foods from distant lands, because that tangerine bar? was out of this world. A DAD JOKE FOR FATHER’S DAY!

JUNE 21: play with these shapes. draw around them, in them, or over them to make your own picture!

what shapes, you ask?

these shapes!

and my too-hot-and-tired-to-be-creative ass drew this and then flopped over until winter

welcome to ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS, BLOOD! it is a terrible idea for a theme park.
on a related note, i may have just failed a rorschach test.

JUNE 22: draw a dog wedding

okay, book! here you go!

JUNE 23: walk and draw. take this book for a little walk around your house or to a park, somewhere you can wander without fear of running into things. draw while you are walking. you may stop and draw when you find something you want to focus on. draw for the entire length of your walk.

this is a true story about financial success via divine intervention, or How I Found Ten Cents Today on my way to market, whilst being observed by an audience of woodside’s wildlife like a queens—based cinderella remake. take that, In the Heights.

i outlined it at home for better photographing, but i didn’t tidy it up—it’s all still nice and janky from walk-drawing.

JUNE 24: draw some of your favorite books from growing up. they can be from all reading levels.

for reference:

Gabby is really just shorthand for ‘all Stephen Cosgrove books,’ which i adored as a child.


JUNE 25: sit by a window—it could be at home or in a car, anywhere really—and draw that window

for reference:

if you’re wondering why i stopped updating this review, you’re looking at it. this one turned out so bad that i was going to pretend it never happened and do a different page but it was too hot and i was too tired so i dropped the ball and ‘tho i kept drawing, i couldn’t get over the hump of my own failure enough to post them, so i’m doing it now and PLEASE LOOK AWAY FROM MY SHAME!

JUNE 26: draw a big mouse + a small lion

? S-L-O-P-P-Y ? M-O-U-S-E!! ?
please do not tell m. disney about this; i don’t wanna get sued by a popsicle.

JUNE 27: draw a cat: 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 1 minute, 15 seconds

i didn’t outline this one, because it felt like cheating, so it’s a little hard to see, but MAN five minutes is a long time to spend drawing a cat. i was just running out the clock going over that fur again and again, but TIL that more time does not necessarily result in a better picture.

JUNE 28: draw while riding the train or subway

i did darken this one up, for clarity, but let the record show that i am the only one on the subway wearing my mask properly, except for that young manspreader whose severe testicular elephantiasis required him to sit like that. i’m assuming.

JUNE 29: draw using pink, yellow, and blue only

this is as good a place as any to FINALLY reveal that i was one of the winners of the #HangingWithMyPEEPS sweepstakes, receiving THREE CANS of PEEPS®-flavored PEPSI® i’d been so desperate to try.

i’ve been treasure-hoarding them like a dragon all this time, fully intending to include them in my review of the PEEPS® cookbook (part one and part two)(or all in one post on blog), but i haven’t yet, so watch that space because even though i’ve been foot-dragging on drinking them, it’s a dream-deferred kinda thing and i’m waiting for the right time. it will be soon.

i know i cheated, using extra colors on the can-part of the drawing, but winners get to do what they want.

JUNE 30: walk and draw #2: pick up leaves or flower petals you find along the way and collage them onto the paper

this is me, melting in the sun on a very short walk in 96-degree weather in JUNE. the sun is bullshit and i hate it. the end.

NB: i just tossed them flowers onto the book instead of gluing them or whatever because books gotta be able to close, and i wasn’t convinced there weren’t a million flower-dwelling bugs hanging out betwixt the petals, so…


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this feels gauche, but when i announced i was starting a blog, everyone assured me this is a thing that is done. i’m not on facebook, i’ve never had a cellphone or listened to a podcast; so many common experiences of modern life are foreign to me, but i’m certainly struggling financially, so if this is how the world works now, i’d be foolish to pass it up. any support will be received with equal parts gratitude and bewilderment.

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