Here are the three things I do:
Also get online! Poke around Youtube or Pinterest. Parents are always posting funny things kids do and say.
Get social! Join our Storyteller Academy (Members Only) group on Facebook to share with others and get inspired.
Look how awesome these kids' drawings are. You can do this. Get over the fear. Stop being an adult. Remember all that stuff we talked about in Week 1 about tapping into your inner voice (inner child) and being brave?
You can do this! Plus, it's really fun.
Here are some early Fix-It Man sketches. See how loose and rough they are?
Coming up with nice, tight drawings isn't the point. You want to capture an idea, a feeling that you can organize and develop into a story.
Get loose pieces of copy paper, pens, pencils, anything cheap that you feel comfortable with. Sometimes if I'm using nice paper or art supplies, I won't be as loose as I want to be. Another tip is trying to draw with pens instead of a pencil. When you draw with a pen, the mark is bolder and permanent. With a pencil, people tend to be more careful or noncommittal. So try drawing with a pen.
Now go! Draw! Doodle! Go nuts!
Here are some examples of my favorite artists that draw simply. Drawing simply isn't bad, and drawing the way ONLY YOU CAN DRAW is discovering YOUR VOICE VISUALLY as a STORYTELLER.
You can download this drawing guide I made to help you draw figures with basic shapes.
Fix-It Man Reference:
Here's a Dropbox link to my reference folder from the Fix-It Man for you to download.
Here are some examples of loose sketches from my books.
I've always been a huge fan of animated movies. While working at Pixar, I would pick up the discarded drawings from the story room. Please don't report me! I just loved the loose drawings that had contained so much story.
I didn't realize until later the lesson I learned from those drawings. That lesson was not to worry about accurate or good drawings. Aim to capture the moment, the feeling. In the beginning, just get the drawing down. You may need to redraw it several times to get the staging and acting right. Don't get tied to your drawings.
Here are some examples.
MONSTERS INC. (Bob Peterson)
And the legendary Bill Peete. Bill was Walt Disney's lead story artist for many years until he had a falling out with Walt. After many years in animation, he turned to picture books where he had an equally amazing career.
Bill Peete wrote an insightful autobiography that is a must read for every storyteller. After reading his autobiography, I knew my future didn't lie in animation, but it was in creating books. Picture books and novels are probably the purest form of artistic expression that exists as a business. Creatively, it's extremely rewarding.
Btw, Bill Peet also drafts on legal pads, just like Jerry Seinfeld and Barack Obama. Maybe it's time to order some?
You can read more about Bill's approach to writing here.