Another method that helps me in freeing up the cobwebs is to carve out solid shapes and patterns in ink. Many of the images that emerge resemble simple tattoo designs.
When jotting these down, I try not not worry about where I’m headed or how they will look but only to focus on the feel of pen in hand traveling over the drawing surface. There is a comfort found in simply using the tools and filling in spaces. It’s a relaxation technique and alleviates the stress of having to make something look or feel like something else. It’s simply jotting down whatever the hand dictates. It’s like stretching before a workout, flexing the artistic muscles before they need to be fully utilized.
Here are some of the previous “stretches” before other works.