Drawing like you’re thirteen

(Jul 10, 2010)

So for the decor of the Americus website, we’re treating it as if it was created by the main character, Neil Barton. The tricky thing about this is trying to draw like I’m thirteen years old. After doing some drawings, I realized that it’s easier to draw like you’re five than you’re thirteen. I think this is because when you’re much younger, you don’t really understand a lot of proper ‘rules’ or drawing, you just kind of go for it and are generally happy with whatever you do.

As you get older you start to pay attention to things like perspective and proportions or what not. You know some of the rules, but you’re not aware of all of them. So when trying to draw like a thirteen year old, I found it hard to forget or ignore some of the rules ad techniques that I’ve spent my whole life trying to learn and master.

It made me think of a book I read recently, Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It is coming of age story about an kid who decides he wants to go to the white school across town instead of on the reservation. The main character, Junior, is a cartoonist and throughout the book Ellen Forney did the illustrations and cartoons that Junior has ‘drawn’. She did a really good job of getting into the mind and skill level of a thirteen year old. Here’s an example:

And here’s a collage of images I did for the background of the site. I think mine look a little less convincing, but they work in the sense that you understand that someone younger and less refined has drawn them. What do you think?

Anyhow, besides doing little illustrations like this, I’ve been busy doing menial work like reformatting pages and relettering the first chapter. It’s coming along. We were going to try to have things up in a couple of weeks, but now we’re shooting for early August so it doesn’t get lost in the Comic Con media blitzkrieg.

Hopefully once we get this all done, I can post some personal illustrations or drawing [like finishing A Date in Time and Space!].

One Response to “Drawing like you’re thirteen”

  1. I think what you posted works. It looks pretty convincing.

    Though I have your *actual* drawings from when you were 13 (well, 14) if you want me to email you some. (Not that you don’t already have them…) Though, looking back at those now I’m not sure that even when you were 13 you drew like you were 13. :)

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