In Praise of Limits

One of the things I like best about daily drawing for Sketchuary and Inktober is that when I sit down to draw, I already have the prompt determined for me. There are still plenty of creative decisions to make in how to interpret the prompt, but it’s not starting from an absolute blank slate. Having that slight limitation– draw this, not that– is helpful and inspiring to me.

I’m reminded of the awkward social dynamic when a group of people are choosing a place to eat. If there are no parameters and everyone says they “don’t care where we go”, it takes longer to make a decision. If one person says something like, “Let’s stay on this side of town” or “Let’s get tacos” the choices become much easier. A whole swath of options has been swept from the table.

I’ve been thinking about this in the context of work, and in particular, non-studio work like consulting, serving on committees, and so on. How limiting what I say yes to might help me be better focused on the tasks at hand. Not sure it’s an exact parallel– the inspiring limitations of drawing and holding appropriate work boundaries– but I’d like to find a better way to sweep from the table a great deal of administrative clutter and mental chatter.

Image: Pencil and marker drawing for the Sketchuary prompt: brine.

Author: Katie

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