Tuesday, June 26, 2012

COSCBWI June 2012: Urban Scrawl and Draw Crawl

This month's COSCBWI meeting was a special event called the "Urban Scrawl and Draw Crawl."  Instead of meeting at our usual Wednesday evening time, members met up in Westerville this past Saturday for a morning of writing and drawing.
First Responders Park

We started out in "First Responders Park," a 9/11 memorial.  The site includes a firefighter statue and a real piece of the World Trade Center.  Members were given prompts and then some free time to view the memorial and sketch or write as they pleased.  The memorial is quite lovely, with plenty of benches to sit on and lush landscaping.  Since I've been a writing maniac 24/7 drafting my new novel over the past few weeks, I decided to put on my illustrator hat for the day.  It was very nice sitting out in the sun with fellow members and letting our creative juices flow in such a serene setting.

Hanby House

After we finished up our prompts and sketches, the group headed over to the Hanby House, just a short walk away from the park.  William Hanby was one of the founders of Otterbein University, and the house dates back to 1846.  It was even part of Ohio's Underground Railroad!  We received a tour of the historical landmark, which was filled with all sorts of old furniture and artifacts.  Benjamin Hanby was the most famous son in the family and composed many songs including the Christmas hit, "Up On The Housetop."  Every writer and illustrator knows how important research is, and how much inspiration you can find in history.  We learned lots of interesting things about the time period and heard some funny family stories (like when one of the boys rolled off the roof while sleeping outside one summer night!)  You just never know when an antique item or family story will spark the idea for a new project, or give you that perfect detail you've been searching for!

My garden sketch.

The tour finished with a stop in the backyard garden where members spread out on the lawn and tackled another set of prompts.  This was really one of those "stop and smell the flowers" moments.  Everyone was quiet as pencils scratched across paper, and I think each one of us enjoyed just being outside for once instead of cooped up at home in front of our computers!

I haven't sketched anything from real life in a looooooooong time, so I had a really great time tapping into that forgotten part of my creative side.  It certainly is nice to do something out of the ordinary and get some fresh perspective from time to time! 

If you missed the event, don't worry.  Everyone had so much fun that COSCBWI plans to do another "Scrawl and Draw Crawl" sometime!   :) 

You can find out more about COSCBWI and upcoming events here: www.coscbwi.org

Hope to see you at our meeting in July! 

Note: All pictures above were taken by me.

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