Artistic Proofreading

October 11, 2010

Long time no blog. Some interesting life developments in the meantime, but that’s for another time.

I was reading a blog by a graphics guy the other day who has published a couple books, and he had some good tips about writing. He said his writing process was roughly like this:

    Write down his thoughts in a way that captured the base idea, without any regard for it being engaging or anything like that. Basically, a brain dump. He said that after this, he makes a PDF out of it, proofreads it for blatant grammatical errors and rewrites parts he hates. Then he puts it away.
    The next day he works on his book, he starts by proofreading the section he wrote during the previous session. At this point, he hopes that he has forgotten what was written. After that reading and proofreading, he said he usually feels ‘not ashamed’ of the work.
    Finally, show it to some reviewers, who still find some things.

Here’s the full blog entry for those interested.

When I write (or when I wrote since I haven’t done it in a while), I usually just throw down whatever comes to my mind, read it once, and publish it. This is because I am not attempting to write publishable books. I am usually trying to entertain about 10-15 people, and I figure they can cope with 3/4 formed ideas and some grammatical mistakes.

So this doesn’t exactly apply to what I’m writing, but I think it directly applies to my drawing. I’d like to make shirts that people would be willing to spend money on, so they can’t just be the result of 6 hours of whirlwind effort followed by 0 revision.

I think I’d like to use the blog to post some artwork and get feedback. A lot of it will be post Stage 1: rough, definitely not ready, but something that I’m only vaguely ashamed of. It also gives me a chance to put it down while I start creating something else. I can get some distance between what I just drew, and consider it objectively later, which is important.

Anyway, here’s the first such posting. I call it, ‘Alto Mexico’. I always thought it was funny that the US has California, and that Mexico has Baja California, meaning Lower California. There’s such a strong Mexican influence in Southern California, that it seems sometimes like Southern California is really Upper Mexico, hence Alto Mexico. The conclusion to this story is that when the Spanish ruled what is now California, the two sections were called Alta California and Baja California, for Upper and Lower California.

Any comments are appreciated. Specifically, I am colorblind, and have only a vague idea of what fonts are good at what. So rip away!


2 Responses to “Artistic Proofreading”

  1. I’m glad you found my post useful for your drawing. I wonder what other areas the technique can apply to…

  2. Robin Says:

    It is an interesting drawing. I would say maybe a difference in color between the two “states”? Also, I think the post you linked to is good advice for writing almost anything, especially angry emails. Sometimes you might go back and read the email, and wonder why you were so angry. Other times, you may not capture enough anger. Always a good technique to let it sit, and come back a day later to see if you still like it.

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