Ever heard of a one-word story, I ask.
No. What is it?
It’s the kinda story you take turns building – word-by-word.
Oh! That sounds interesting. Let’s try.
So, we do. But soon, the story rolls down a steep hill, bouncing and careening until it hits a protruding rock, flies up in the air and sails off the edge of a sheer cliff.
Death is certain!
Okay, let’s try again.
So, we do.
Later, he says, let’s try a one-line drawing.
How do you do it, I ask.
It’s the kind of drawing you take turns building – line-by-line.
Oh! Cool! I’ll get the paper.
And we do. Invariably though, the drawing veers off in a hundred directions. Spaceships bloom flowers and plants. Trees bear pears and Star Wars style guns. I try sneaking off to a corner of the page to eke out a space for myself, hoping to draw something that could become something.
That’s not how it’s done, he says, as his Blackwing pencil makes one very definitive line in my corner – starting what looks to be the outline of a spaceship. Or an eyeball.
On another day, he says, how about if we fill a sketchbook.
What do you mean?
We use a new sketchbook which I keep for one month. Each day, I’ll do a new drawing on either the left or right page. I’ll leave a connecting point for you in my drawing and at this point, on the opposite page, you’ll join your drawing to mine.
Ohhh! Yesss– that sounds really cool. (…and I meant it!)
And we do.
The not-so-great-at-group-work person that I am really enjoyed this project. The daily ‘practice-ness’ of it. Collaborative, yet still giving each of us the space of a blank page to be ourselves.
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