Inspiration- 642 Things to Draw


The book 642 Things to Draw is perfect in its simplicity. It's a nearly blank book filled with unique prompts of what to draw, hence the title, and partitioned areas in which to draw them. Some pages are full of one or two drawing areas, others are filled with four. Contrary to some belief it is not an instructional book (yaaaawnnn to instructional drawing books. There are so few good ones out there. Draw from liiiiife, people.) It also has a companion book, 642 Things to Write for those writers out there filled with similar offbeat prompts.

We all get itches where we want to draw, maybe just to stretch the muscles, but can't figure where to start. I've got the bad habit of turning to my spouse and saying "What should I draw? Gimme something good." He purses his lips into the thinking face and says "I dunno". We go back and forth like this for a little while until I close my sketchbook and move on to something else. This book completely eliminates that issue, that mental drought that happens when you're wanting to draw but just don't have the starting point. It's wonderful.

I first discovered this book somewhere in the expanse that is the internet and my RSS feed. I knew it would be wonderful for my son to draw in someday so I put it on my mental back burner. Fast forward to now and my sister saw it in a local store and bought both a copy for her and I. She's been in an art rut lately and was hoping this book could help drum up some of her creativity. So far it's working. All you've got to do is crack it open. It provides you with unique ideas you could have never thought of independently and is a great drawing exercise.

My only lament, and it's a very small one, is that the paper stock doesn't seem suitable for anything other than dry media. I'd be afraid to put anything other than pencil or pen on it, maybe marker, and you'd probably not be safe with ink or gouache. The cover is nice and durable, a thick texured cardstock with a matte almost laminated finish, and the binding is bound just not directly glued so you could crack the spine on this thing till it's flat and there's no worry of page loss.

Here's a few examples of my sketches, simple and not shockingly all of food. I would imagine it's going to take me a while to get through all these drawings and this book's durability will allow it to last a long time. I recommend it to any artist!