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Write / Draw

February 10, 2015

When I was around seven years old, I became what you would call obsessed with writing and story telling. I was plowing through loose leaf paper with total abandon, scrawling tales as outrageous and romantic as my little brain could conjure. I remember dreaming up plot twists that excited me so much I couldn’t sleep, and getting so pumped about the end of the story that I would skip ahead and write that first.

When I was twelve, I started writing about my own life and keeping a diary. I quickly realized I’d harnessed a tool that would allow me to vent my angsty pre-teen emotions while doing something I felt was so important: documenting fleeting moments to return to later.

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More personal daily writing became routine: stream of consciousness, bad poetry, you name it. It was pure, existential, curious and totally Libra-tastic.

When I was around thirteen, my love of visual arts took over. I was sketching like it was my job, creating imagery that represented what I wanted in life. I would draw girls traveling and waiting in airports, neon lights and city skylines, warm boutique windows full of dreamy clothing designs…

Looking back, I really began to manifest some of those abstract and perhaps superficial ideas into a more tangible reality. But that’s another story.

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That love of storytelling and visual arts landed me at F.I.T.—four solid years of sewing, sketching, and conceptualizing. I miss those hyper creative days, when my resting state was rampantly-ecstatic, full of ideas, sketchbook in hand.

Because writing and sketching are my two creative lifelines, I was thrilled when AllSwell sent me one of their beautiful, minimal double-sided write & draw notebooks. The book is half-lined, half-blank, with the goal of increasing creative mojo in anyone who nears it with a pen.

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And how important is this goal? AllSwell says it best: 

“While the world has become undeniably digital, research shows that putting pen to paper is linked to increased wellbeing, and basically a boosted brain. It is physiologically, emotionally and mentally beneficial.”

They had me at “boosted brain”! But there are endless therapeutic and feel-good reasons to get your sketch and scribble on once in a while.

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On the “WRITE” side, I began new years resolutions and to-do lists. Then, I broke all of the rules and started drawing! I drew all the things I planned to have for breakfast the following day. Drawing miniature food is, for whatever reason, one of my favorite things to do.

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On the “DRAW” side, I drew this lady-fish creature. Then, I went back to drawing breakfast food. Don’t worry, drawing side. I’ll be back for you soon. It’s been a while since I got the old sketching muscle working.

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I’m not caught up on filling this book with anything profound (clearly, ha!), but I carry it wherever I go. You never know when inspiration might strike you like a rogue pigeon, right? This has become my paper play space, to jot down ideas and scribble when I need to get my wheels turning. Every artist needs something like that.

The brand touts these blank pages as a chance to experience “creativity unplugged”, without any ping backs from social media or judgements from onlookers. Pure experimentation and expression… just like my beginnings as a genius seven-year-old novelist.

And really, how refreshing is that?

Grab one for yourself.

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