Everyone has a different style, and style is directly affected by medium. As I learned about how creative people worked—reading biographies and watching interviews—I noticed a pattern, and that was that creative people are often heavily involved in the material aspect of their craft. I used to think that it was enough to type away a great novel on Microsoft Word, maaaaybe printing it out on paper to edit it.
But writers and paper have always been tied together. The more I explored the physical aspect of paper and ink, the richer my imagined world got. I was suddenly able to see the world I had in my head with my own eyes. And that helped ground my world in reality and tangibility.
Some movie stars are the same way, wanting to know all about how the camera works, and many musicians aren’t just pulling notes out of thin air, they’re building amplifiers from scratch and balancing sound levels in the recording studio themselves.
My dream has always been to publish a novel, but I also dream of drawing. Whether that’s illustrating books or just sketching on the riverside, I want to spend the rest of my life making pictures. What kid doesn’t love a book full of pictures? I don’t think we grow out of that, I think we just rationalize a lack of pictures, saying to ourselves that a block of text is somehow more mature than a book full of color. But you need to stay connected to that child inside you.
That’s why I’m introducing the Instagram artist account I’ve cultivated for two years now, called @zudlow. It’s a collection of the pictures in my head that have made their way onto paper. As I built my drawing habits, drawing every day, my writing habits started getting stronger as well! I started keeping a moleskine-style notebook and stopped making excuses about being limited by time or space—I can write or sketch anywhere I want to now!
Now I take a holistic look at creativity, and everything is happening at once—drawing, writing, and reading. I’ve stopped making excuses about how I don’t have the time to write or sketch. Write every day, draw every day, make art every day, keep #goodstudiohabits!