This is my cat, telling you to vote.
So these days, I only have the one cat. When my co-parent and I divorced, we split the cats. I wanted the whiny, middle one – Kinoko – and my ex was only too happy to part with her. He’s a light sleeper, and she likes to caterwaul in the night. For some reason, I never noticed, I slept through it all. She is black, with these beautiful variegated chartreuse eyes. (the green kind of Chartreuse, not the yellow kind). I want to capture her eyes, and her ears. Her ears have this weird squiggle at the base – the ear edge doesn’t just end at the base, at her skull. It goes down, then goes up and follows a subtle flap, then up again, and then finally connects to the skull.
The thing about drawing is that when you start out, you realize how little you actually observe. Humans are very, very good at filling in the blanks. We see patterns – we see faces! – in random noise. Some of the studies I’ve read suggest that this is because we take in so much information through all our senses that we have to throw away what we believe to be insignificant. Otherwise, we would drown in information and it would all become meaningless.
Because we are cutting to the chase and looking for significance, we tend to zero out sameness, looking for change and anomalies. Then we pay attention. So cartoons, even ones like xkcd, can be minimalist and yet we still understand.
When I pick up a pencil and sketch something, I realize how little I actually see the world around me. Want to know your lover? Your child? Draw them. The difficulty and the frustration will lead to the realization that we fill in the patterns and story with only a few data points. We don’t actually see. When drawing and taking in the details, it looks wrong when in process. You have to have faith that it will make sense in the end. That the drawing will have a semblance of familiarity – but only at the end. Likes threads in the back of a tapestry, it appears to be chaos at first. Patience reveals the beauty and order that was always there.