You buy it you draw it

8th June 2010 by

This month we’re challenging you to draw everything that you buy. “Have you gone absolutely KE-RAY-ZEE over there at Otesha?” I hear you cry. Well, maybe.

Why? Because we want to get creative, we want to think before we buy and we want to make an artistic comment on our consumer-based society (call us high-minded).

We are taking our inspiration from the uber Kate Bingaman-Burt, author of Handmade Nation and creator of blog Obsessive Consumption – What Did You Buy Today? She has been documenting her purchases since 2002 and even drew all her credit card statements from 2004 until she became debt-free in February 2010. Blimey.

In an interview about her drawing quest she says, “Drawing my purchases is actually a lot of fun. Having the evidence of everything that I buy pretty much only confirmed things that I thought about my consumerism before: I need to eat better, I need to stop buying magazines so much and I need to think more about the purchase before buying (which I TOTALLY do now).” We can’t wait to make these discoveries for ourselves! So join us in some doodling this month and send us your creative endeavours (artistic skills not necessary). We will be uploading our sketches as the month goes along – what an insight into our personal lives, eh? Just go through the contents of our bins, why don’t you.

This time we have a proper prize to offer, Kate Bingaman-Burt has donated a copy of her new book Obsessive Consumption. You can win us over by sending old school or email copies of a collection of drawings, or single drawing. We will try not to judge you by what you’ve bought.

Kerry had a go…

I’ve really loved this challenge. Being able to actually see what you have purchased is really thought provoking. I am tempted to keep it up and I’m going to tell all of my  friends what a good idea it is! I appear to spend most of my money on food and I’m not sure I can claim that is just down to revision stress!! Hmm, I will let you know what I actually do about it when I have decided! But in the meantime I have attached my scribblings :)

Jo tried it and…

I am much more of a consumer than I thought I was. I had to ban myself from charity shops after the first week. My previous forays into charity shops have equipped me with more clothes than I will ever wear, more books than I will ever read and a lot of converse trainers (for some reason all charity shops stock size 7 converse, don’t ask how or why, it’s just one of those things about the universe). I did falter on the drawing challenge for a week in the middle and I had a charity shop relapse that week. Not that there’s anything wrong with charity shop shopping, it allows me to exercise the consumer within without denting my wallet or my conscience.

I realised a few other things about myself. I am a bit of an urban cliche, I do seem to go out for coffee a lot. I have recently developed a big going-out-for-dinner habit, which explains why I’ve been doing so little cooking lately. My mum will say I drink too much beer. Humous and bread everyday do not make a healthy balanced diet.

I think there were only 3 days (in 31) when I bought absolutely nothing. Thinking long and hard about my consumer habits is not a new thing to me. But the drawing challenge has given a nice new slant to an old theme.

Hanna gave it a spin and… fell over

I was desperate to do this monthly challenge. A chance to be crafty! To think! I had romantic visions of carrying my little moleskin notebook around, wistfully doodling everything in sight (or, at least, everything I bought). And that sort of happened… for a week. That’s right, I only lasted 8 days. And god, did it feel like an eternity! I am not the best drawer, so everything took a really long time, and therefore the longer I had to ponder my consumer habits. I need to eat more fruit and vegetables, buy less books and definitely curb the sushi habit. After all these revelations, I wasn’t sure if I could handle anymore in the month of May, so maybe I’ll start over this month and see what else I find out…

One Response to “You buy it you draw it”

  1. Jo says:

    Hanna, is the problem that you buy too much or draw too slow?


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