Letter #1 for May 2024

A letter to connect with you all in a week without screens, and instructions for a phone-sized sketchbook.

Published: May 2024
An ink drawing of a face next to a flower in a tiny yellow sketchbook.
This week my son’s school proposes ‘Une semaine sans écran’ - a week without screens, an initiative that has been in place since he was in kindergarten. After I have shared all the #drawingisfree drawings this Monday evening I am taking a much needed break from my phone and joining Jackson for a screen break. 

As I heard Patti Smith say ‘we need time to daydream’.

I would love to be able to rely less on Instagram for connection and to know that my work and words actually reach those who would like to see it, so this week I shared a letter in the Monday drawing session. You can read it below, or download the PDF.

If you would like to be on my mailing list you can join my Patreon platform for free - I share updates and information there regularly.

Drawing Is Free - Letter #1 - May 2024

Dear All,

I thought to write to you and share in a different way this week as I go off my phone tomorrow and replace screen-time with drawing for ‘La Semaine sans Ecran’- my son’s school’s initiative to encourage children to take breaks from screens.

I am motivated to try and find other ways of sharing and connecting that do not rely so heavily on algorithms and the addictive tool that Instagram can be. There are slower, more human ways of connecting – a letter for example!

Lots of you Direct Message me on Mondays about how to share your drawings on Instagram, here is how:

  1. Have your account setting set to ‘Public’. See help for changing your profile settings from Instagram
  2. Tag me @drawingisfree_org . See help for tagging and mentions in Posts, or how to mention someone in Stories from Instagram help.
  3. Use the hashtag #drawingisfree. See help for using hashtags from Instagram

As you know I try to repost everything I see to my stories. Recently I have had problems with ‘reach’ because of how Instagram is evolving – with how many people actually see what I post. I am realizing how many of your posts I don’t see too.

On Friday 31st May 2024, 7 - 8pm (UK time) I am excited to have an online conversation with the wonderful Jake Spicer from @draw_brighton about drawing and the summer school I will be running for them in August. It is free.

And this week (Saturday 1st May) I publish the next ‘What it is to Draw a Face’ conversation with an artist who takes part in the Drawing is Free sessions.

You can access this recording and the archive by signing up for free to my Patreon. 

The Patreon platform houses my mailing list and is a way to be in contact.

Also the ︎Contact link on the Drawing is Free website

Thank you!


Chloë's Signature

︎Download Letter #1︎︎︎
(PDF 131kb)

A Phone-sized Sketchbook

As part of the Week Without Screens, I have made a phone-sized sketchbook to carry with me alongside my phone.

One of the #drawingisfree prompts that I wrote for @drawingprojectsuk and the education pack for the 2022 Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize was to make a sketchbook the same dimensions as an iphone. Here is an example of one I made one for Jack and I.

A concertina sketchbook labelled La Semaine Sans Ecran 2004 A concertina sketchbook the size of a phone  ︎ View the full video on Instagram︎︎︎

After drawing with you all on Zoom on Monday 27th May,  I will replace my phone (at least, try my very best to replace my phone!) with this book and drawing materials for a week.

Jack will draw instead of watching Netflix. I’m excited to see what happens 🙌✏️

I showed this prototype to a group of teenagers that @lillian.davies and I worked with this afternoon and they seemed to think it was cool. So…

The Recipe

Black paper for covers
1 x A1 sheet of paper (cut into three strips (56cm x 15cm)
2 pieces of card (15cm x 7cm)- I use back board of sketchbooks
Masking tape
Kraft knife
PVA glue
Brush for glue
Bone folder tool or the back of a spoon
Scrap paper

  1. Glue your two pieces of card to the black paper (black like a screen!) with the PVA glue. Cut enough of the excess so that you have a cm or so to fold over - use the bone tool or spoon to fold a crisp edge.
  2. Fold your three strips of paper like a concertina, each strip should be folded 7 times to make a page that is 7cm x 15 cm. Connect all three in to a long concertina using tape.
  3. Glue your concertina to the back of the black, card covers. 
  4. Turn off your phone and draw ❤️

Help support me to create more opportunities for drawing

If you enjoy the work of Drawing is Free, and find it valuable, I would be honoured if you’d consider supporting  Drawing is Free at Patreon, where I create new drawing prompt booklets every month and run online drawing sessions for supporters. Your support helps create time for me to develop new ideas and projects to benefit everyone. You can also join for free, to get monthly interviews and news about what I’m doing.

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