Visual thinkers, doodlers, artists and photographers: Get This Book!

I randomly ran across a book yesterday and as soon as I picked it up, I was sold. I cracked it open to the middle, took one look and didn’t need to page any further. I knew this book would provide hours, weeks, maybe even months of inspiration and joy. The concept is so dead-simple I truly wish I’d thought of it. It’s the perfect tool for creative visual thinkers and for anyone that uses visual cues, sketches or diagrams to accomplish their objectives. It’s also perfect for a 12 year old child which says a lot about me.
Cover and open pages of 642 Things To Draw, a Chronicle Book

The idea behind 642 Things To Draw (Chronicle Books) tells you simply what to draw in the space provided. Arranged in absolutely random, nonsensical order, with anywhere from a quarter page to full page of white space. Items like “a motel” and “a string of DNA” sharing the same page are certain to push your brain to make connections it’s never made. Creativity will follow.

What might a photographer get out of drawing? The inspiration lies in the visualization of what I’m prompted to draw. There’s a first flash of the subject then a flood of possibilities. What angle? Which era? Cartoonish or realistic? Literal or conceptual? All the decisions funneled into a single quick sketch. As a visual communicator these skills are beyond important. They are the foundation of my “language” and the value I provide as a professional. The faster those decisions make sense, the better I get at conveying my vision.

I plan to draw a few of these per day. And I’ve committed to doing them in pen–at least for now. I’m thinking the “Queen Victoria” page might require some pencil roughs when I get there.

Have a favorite inspiring book or creative exercise? I want to hear it. Find me on Twitter or drop in on my Facebook page.

© Gary Allard


  1. by Jensen on September 8, 2012  7:15 pm Reply

    I want that book.

  2. Pingback : Gary Allard Photography » San Diego, California photographer: Commercial, editorial » Five Ways to Break Your Creative Funk

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.