What is Entopic Graphomania? Weekly Project #3 with Brooks Chambers

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What is Entopic Graphomania?

When it’s time to start a new drawing, you normally go to the piece of paper with an idea in mind. But what if you let the paper decide what you should draw? Entopic Graphomania is a way of doing just that. This drawing exercise was developed by the surrealists and is designed to highlight the patterns and meaning that await us in the places we least expect.

Time to Complete:
10-15 Minutes

Materials Needed:
– Any piece of paper – a book or newspaper works, too!
– Pen, pencil, or any other drawing tool you’re comfortable with.
– If you don’t want to permanently mark the pages of your favorite book, you might want some tracing paper.
Entopic Graphomania: Weekly Project #3 with Brooks Chambers

Choose any piece of paper to get started. This can be a plain ol’ piece of copy paper, a piece of junk mail, or a page from your favorite book. Spend some time examining the page. Look closely for imperfections in the paper and put a dot on them with your drawing tool. You may not see any at first glance, but don’t let up. Keep looking until some distinguishing marks stand out to you – even if they’re not really imperfections, per se. There’s no minimum or maximum number of dots you need to make, so just keep going til you don’t feel like doing any more (maybe 15-20 dots).
Entopic Graphomania: Weekly Project #3 with Brooks Chambers
Next, start connecting the dots in whatever style you want. Straight, wavy, or dotted lines are all welcome. Be as interpretive as you like on this – there’s no wrong way! As you connect more and more of your dots, you’ll start to see forms coming into focus. Your Entopic Graphomania will evolve as you make it. Your eye will naturally pick out patterns and this will instinctively affect where you decide to put the next line.
Entopic Graphomania: Weekly Project #3 with Brooks Chambers
Follow-up Project:
Add color to your entopic graphomania! Use watercolors to fill in the different fields created by your lines. You could also digitize your piece and color it in Illustrator or Photoshop. This could grow into a surface pattern design or maybe just your next desktop wallpaper. Have fun!
Entopic Graphomania: Weekly Project #3 with Brooks Chambers
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Brooks Chambers is an excitable design advocate and writer at CreativeLive. He loves people and the stuff they make.