Last night I spent a couple of wonderful hours talking and scribbling with my visual thinker friends John and Veda. We are all reading Lynda Barry’s new book Syllabus and working through many of her exercises, acting as support group for each other. John also shared the stuff he’s been doing from Ivan Brunetti’s book Cartooning: Philisophy & Practice which I thought I’d try today.

We’re given a list of objects – car, cat, telephone, self portrait – and asked to draw each one first in four minutes, then two minutes, one minute, 30 seconds, 15 seconds, 5 seconds.


I love how the image goes from detailed to iconic. This is the point, I think – to find the balance between attention to detail and reality, and the “shorthand” image. How simplified can the drawing get and still be recognizable?