The process is messy

Here are three sketches of a napkin; similar but different. I drew them a year ago and hadn't paid attention to them until now. I publish a weekly sketch that accompanies a little story, and today these drawings helped me complete the short essay you're reading.

Text is more articulate, organized, and structured than speech. But the writing process isn't as clean. You shuffle words, sentences, and entire paragraphs around, deleting the chunks that don't add much and rewriting unclear parts. "Where do I stop? What should I add? Will they understand?" There's no correct answer.

The sketching process is similar. Strokes, shades, and color let you give more or less prominence to each part of a drawing. But the process is non-linear. You don't "plot" lines as a printer does but add details and darkness; it looks more like additive manufacturing processes, in which an extruder drops chunks of material from one side to the other.

We write (and sketch) to create memories and share our worldview and stories with others—with you.

I didn't plan to sketch a napkin thrice to make a point. It just happened because I wasn't happy with the first result. (They all look like popcorn!)

The finished artifact looks meticulously planned.

The process is messy.

May 18, 2021
Nono Martínez Alonso

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Pencil sketch of Nono Martínez Alonso.