100 doodles

Artistically, I get hung up on “big” ideas. I should be working on a large series or a big project. I lose sight of the fun and value of creative work by building up big schemes and projects in my head. This is paralyzing and doesn’t lead to getting anything made.

In the last year, I finished a few “serious” paintings in my series of Tacoma landscapes, but I had more fun making still life paintings, turning those into scarves, or making wacky web projects. These fun projects have had more reach, more impact, and brought me more creative fulfillment then the thing I should be working on.

Clearly, I’m doing it wrong.

I want to be more creative more often. I want to make more art for more people. I live in the world, and the world lives on the internet. Living in the world requires commuting to a job on a train. I already doodle on the train. Why isn’t that creative outlet worth sharing?

I am inspired by this article as well.


Their goal, as a company, is to keep you on Facebook—and away from everything else—as long as they possibly can. They do that by making Facebook as addictive to you as possible. And they make it addictive by feeding you only the exact stripe of content you want to read, which they know to a precise, camel-eye-needle degree. It's the kind of content, say, that you won't just click on, but will "Like," comment on, and share (not just for others to read, but so you can say something about yourself by sharing it, too). And that's often before you've even read it!

The moral of the story is to start using the web the way it was designed and push back against Facebook spoon-feeding you garbage to keep you on Facebook.

This resonates with me. I miss the open web. I miss web sites. I miss independent voices. I want to contribute to that.

I killed my Facebook “page” partly because of this, but also because it’s just a lot of work to get anything out of it. Facebook then emails constantly with tips and tricks and an incentive to spend money on advertising. Facebook a pit.

How do I reconcile the fact that the world lives on the internet with an anti-garbage social-media point of view?

I’m going to try a simple email newsletter. The first issue is here.

I’m using TinyLetter.com to run the thing. It’s small and simple and that’s enough. I’m working with this idea of painted blog posts. A regular sketchbook entry combined with written thoughts and ideas. I will draw or paint in Procreate as usual, then write in GoodNotes. GoodNotes is a ‘digital ink’ note taking app for the iPad. It has some clever Optical Character Recognition so my chicken-scratch handwriting becomes real computerized text.

This gives me searchable text with a human touch. I can export to an image or a PDF. From there I have raw materials to share on the slow internet.

Michael Barrett

Tacoma, WA 98402