It’s a Love/Hate Thing

There is nothing quite like boring yourself to tears with data entry on a cold winters day.

Because Autumn is over, I am no longer collecting weather data or drawing the sky, I am processing all the information that I gathered during that period and thinking of ways I can use it. To make it usable, it’s getting typed, cleaned, ordered scanned and filed. It’s data entry, boring and necessary.

It’s funny but the same things I love and hate about drawing are the same things I love and hate about data entry.

There is the long time frame and countless repetitious actions that means, if you persevere, you can end up with an orderly collection of mark making that somehow makes some sense in some kind of way. When I say that the mark making is orderly what I mean by that is that they are in an order, not necessarily a chronological one or one that is particularly tidy, just that they are in some kind of arrangement.

My drawing practice is a lot like data entry, I don’t have an inbuilt effortless ability, I just cheat well- I have systems that enable me to organise marks on a page into the form I want and this more process based drawing is like a form of data entry.

There is the creation of a structure, a grid, a chart or map in which to plot, arrange and rearrange your marks, and there is the application of mark making. Whether it be numbers and grades into a spreadsheet or tonal gradients into a drawing plan, there are parallels. It can be boring, and painfully repetitive, RSI inducing and it takes self discipline but at the same time, it’s time to yourself, with music and it’s so satisfying when everything is finally in place and has meaning. It’s a love/hate thing.

At the moment as I process the mass of information from my Autumn project, I have also been filling out feedback sheets, and using Excell to spreadsheet grades so everyday has been full of moving data from one place to another or filling in the boxes.

I spent some time the other day working on the different scales for plotting weather information on to a series of graphs. For my math-phobic brain, it was hard work working out the best numerical scales to record the different data but have it fit into a similar size,The drafting process became interesting data entry drawings as I worked things out (slowly and painfully).


That is me working out how to get to this:


Which has multiple scales like this:


Now I can use these beautiful and painfully eked out numbers and start plotting the information onto some transparencies so hopefully I can end up with something interesting and a bit more abstract.  In my mini mock ups, I enjoy how the lower layers disappear and become indistinct. Cant wait to see what the real ones using real data will look like.



2 thoughts on “It’s a Love/Hate Thing

  1. I always enjoy reading your blogs, often they hit many of my emotions/thoughts on the mark. Looking forward to seeing your work in july

    • Thanks Elle, I enjoy yours too, I love the references to your garden, especially the part about the weeding, I know exactly what you mean. 😉

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