Plant the seeds and then Plant some More

Even with the tiniest most uncertain of ideas can grow into something wonderful given the right amount of time, nourishment, and encouragement. So don’t wait, ping your shiny new idea off of a trusted friend, scratch it out on a napkin, doesn’t matter much at this point where you start, JUST GIVE IT A CHANCE. Many artists keep a sketchbook for their idea seedlings, so if you don’t have one yet, get one and work in your journal or sketchbook DAILY to capture as many of these thought-wanders as possible, even if none seem like a complete idea – GET IT ON PAPER. It will hang around in the dark waiting for you to see it an a different light, lingering for a spark of insight and inspiration to make it grow. Oh and one more thing: please water your seeds, not your weeds!

Still confused about what you’re doing here? Read this…

Your TURN to DRAW!

  • Look for idea seeds in nature… you could start with discovering interesting or unusual patterns, shapes, angles, colours… Even in the city or in your own home, growing things are all around you!
  • Try an “Exquisite Corpse” exercise with a friend, which is nothing more than a seed of an idea germinated via an initial structure or generation point. You start like this, with a sheet of paper folded in horizontal “bands”. The paper is then folded up so only one band is exposed. The first person starts on the exposed band and draws, say, the head and neck, folds the paper so the next band is exposed, and passes it to their partner, who draws the shoulders and chest, and so on. When the final drawing is complete, unfold the paper to see what kind of character you’ve collectively imagined.
    A variation of this exercise is round-robin style in a drawing group, say, with each drawer starting at the head and neck, then moving to the next easel to their left to draw the shoulders, moving again to the left to draw the torso and so on. It’s fun to see what other people notice in their drawings that you didn’t see yourself.
  • Don’t feel like drawing? Apparently caring for living things is good for your well-being, and experimental gardening can be fun (even if it doesn’t work out as planned). A couple years ago, I found an old packet of fresh sage down the back of my fridge and put a few of the leaves in a cup of water to see if it would make some roots and I guess I got lucky…so then I stuck three of the sprouts  in some dirt and two years later I must contend with this fragrant and leafy monster trying to take over my garden…

Maybe this Ransom Note gives you a different idea? Let me know!


You’ve come this far, now why not

<<<<< click to share your creativity – @beware.of.artists

Not only does your creativity need YOU, but here’s a surprise, the world needs your creativity, too! By sharing your response to a Ransom Note, we are building a community who will enjoy, be inspired by, and learn from each other. Who knows, maybe some of us will “find our tribe” or even make the world that tiny bit more pleasant to be in than it was 15 minutes ago!

Look up how other artists PLANT the SEEDS

  • Check out this manual of seed illustrations published by the USDA in 1937, which you can download or print for your own study or craft projects. Is it just me or are some these seeds downright racy? 😉

    Hillman, F. H. and Helen H. Henry. 1935. Photographs of Drawings of Seeds; The more important forage-plant seeds and incidental seeds commonly found with them. Division of Seed Investigations, Bureau of Plant Industry, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington D.C.. Revised 1935. Image accessed on
  • Artists who find beauty in the cabbage patch” is a story about artists who enjoy city allotments  or even painters who are  “…more concerned with the rhythm of rows of bean poles and with capturing shafts of autumn sunlight through bonfire smoke than she is with the produce or the problem of what to do with prunings.” – 23 January 2017 by Lia Leendertz in the Telegraph

    Vincent Van Gogh, ‘Allotments on Montmartre’, 1887. Image courtesy: ALAMY

What other artists or techniques can you think of? Let me know!

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