Museum Guide, Updated

Remember that Museum Guide I did last summer? And remember how I have to overwork everything within an inch of its life? Well, here's the net result, which is an updated version of my Museum Guide, with additional gallery floor plans and text. The cover is based on the Museum Plan for the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain (pictured on the right). 

You can buy a copy here. Below are a few more preview shots, plus some rough sketches that I liked, but did not make the cut in the final version. 

Guess which one is mine!

Guess which one is mine!

A few more interior pages: 

A drawing that made it into the Bench guide, amid a few other doodles: 

The drawing below did not make it into the Guide, but I have a soft spot for it anyhow:

Sketches from the Metro

One of my more boring-yet-defining characteristics is that I am Someone Who Has a Long Commute. Lately I've been filling my sketchbook with fellow Metro passengers bundled up for winter. 


Fine pen and ink drawing is usually tricky-to-near-impossible on trains because the motion causes my line to wobble, but it's good for broad, uncareful brushwork like this.

Of course to "draw from life" nowadays means to "draw people who are looking at their smartphones" (though the advantage here is that they are not as likely to turn around and see someone starring at them with a sketchbook in hand). 


The topic that never gets old

My weekend

There is one topic that never seems to get old among us creative types, and that is how difficult it is to do creative work in the first place. Oh yes, you think. Please tell me just how hard this wholly optional activity is. Let's talk about other fellow artists who have spent the day procrastinating and feeling like failures for not working, or throwing out entire days worth of drawings, or hours trying to squeeze out a single sentence that doesn't sound dumb. And the solidarity is easy to find, along with motivational posters encouraging you to struggle through the hard parts, or reassurance that getting stuck does not necessarily mean that your painting is doomed. Then of course, you realize—horrified—that you have just spent forty minutes searching for words of encouragement on the Internet instead of getting anything done, and the cycle of shame repeats itself.*

I've spent the better part of the weekend working for an upcoming show I have in August—details to come soon—which involved the usual mixture of artistic highs and lows. I did, sadly, have to scrap an entire 24x24'' panel because its composition was unsalvageable, but it felt like the right thing to do. As I drew, a Saul Steinberg quote constantly repeated itself in my head, on a loop: “What you respond to in any work of art is the artist's struggle against his or her limitations.” Which seemed to be everywhere.

* For my money, you are not going to get a better description of this trauma than David Rakoff's essay, "Isn't it Romantic." It is one of those essays you wish you could shove in people's hands and say, "read this now."