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Automatically Good

Automatically Good

In honor of thalo’s annual return to Art Journal January and to inform your daily drawing practice: we invite you to relax, find your favorite drawing pen, and get ready to examine your subconscious mind via the world of automatic drawing.

Pearl by Josh Chance. Ballpoint pen on paper. 2018, image used with permission from the artist @joshchanceart on Instagram

You’re probably already familiar with the basics of automatic drawing: your hand moves across paper creating a sprawling doodle, your conscious mind checks out, and before you know it – you've completed a drawing in a calm, meditative state. Perhaps you’ve never given doodling much consideration before -- but ultimately, the end result is a visual diary that connects you to the act of unconscious creation.

How Beautiful  You Are? By Tony Dark. Ink on paper. 2018, image used with permission from the artist @antoniopigato on Instagram.

As an exercise, automatic drawing becomes a fun and relaxing way to investigate your subconscious while also informing and enhancing your artwork. What parts of the composition were consciously decided? Where did these images come from? How can you dignify and ennoble the practice? 

Artwork used with permission of the artist. @trashxbeast on Instagram

For a primer on incorporating the technique into your daily practice and for more information about automatic drawing as a form of meditation, check out the video below from the folks over at Let’s do what we can to elevate doodling and start the New Year off correctly: with intention, mindfulness, and of course, ambitious gusto. Happy New Year!

Looking for more reasons to draw? Visit our list of daily prompts for the month of January.