Minimalism, Zero Waste, Jack Johnson and 96 sketches

Do you know how they connect?

96 Sketches

96 sketches is the project I started last September. I didn't have any rules for it, I only wanted to create one sketch a day for 96 days. I couldn't keep up with the planned pace, so I decided that I will just finish it when I'm able to. A lot of things happened since then, and I was drawing regularly, but this project has stopped for a while. Now I'm reviving it, but this time I created some structure, because it's much easier to follow some kind of a rule, than just let my mind wonder every day. I'm drawing stylized, simple portraits of famous people (dead or alive) who celebrate(d) their birthdays on the given day. I've also decided, that I'm not going to spend more than an hour on it daily, which means I have to compromise on "perfection" and focus on progress instead. Letting things go before they are perfect is my weakness and I'd like to work on it. I'd also like to get better in character design, and drawing these different characters might help with that.


Today's birthday person is Jack Johnson. I chose him for multiple reasons. The first was because I'm in love with his music for about 10-11 years by now. And I was also planning to write about minimalism and zero waste, two topics he fits in quite well. (96 sketches and blog post illustration in one sit, time is precious you know). So here we go.

In my previous post I wrote about being present, and I mentioned how the clutter in our minds can restrain us from being present. I also said, that by being proactive and taking actions at the earliest point we make room for possible spontaneous things in our lives, because we'll more likely say yes to them if we don't have thousands of things on our "list" already. This isn't only true for mind clutter. Physical clutter around us can slow us down (in the negative sense of the word) in many ways, even if there are times, when it helps creativity. I'm kind of an OCD cleaning freak, or at least I was, before my kids were born. The Monica type. (Perfectionist issues). Fortunately my kids cured the urge of being perfect all the time, but my need for a clean, organized and - well - spacious space is still here, and I don't think it's a bad thing. In the past few years I read a lot about two things, that's very close to my heart, and that supports my feelings about this subject.


The first is minimalism. I was a "micro-hoarder" in my teenage years. I'd collect all the small memories I could, bus tickets with certain (important) dates on them, threads, leaves, chestnuts, cards, photos. Mainly in my diaries, that's why I call it "micro-hoarding". But still, I put a lot of things in small boxes too for just in case I'd need them at some point in the future. When I met the concept of minimalism, I knew it was something I would welcome in my life. I knew the feeling that comes with freshly de-cluttered spaces and I always loved it. It's lightness and calmness. Clear thoughts and focus. Minimalism is to keep it that way. Minimalism for me is to keep the clutter away by not hoarding things, and lift my soul by surrounding myself with minimum amount of stuff I love to look at. I'm far from this, mainly because I have kids, but we're getting there slowly. I'd like them to see that stuff don't equal happiness. I'd like to give them the ability to think about experiences and relationships as the main things that need to be treasured.

Zero Waste

While learning more and more about other people's view on minimalism, I met the term zero waste. It does make a lot of sense to me as well. I always hated the fact that we're throwing away so many things and they go... somewhere. I always needed answers since I was a kid, and learning that we bury our trash under the ground was giving me troubling thoughts. I can see that my son, Aron has the same problem. He's always worried when he sees garbage on the streets or in nature. It's not just something he has learnt. It's coming from his personality. He was collecting trash on the playground at age two and throwing it to the bin.

So as much as for myself, for them as well - I'm trying to reduce our waste. I'm even further from perfect in this than in minimalism, so there's a long way to go. But at least I'm on the path and doing the best I can.

And Jack again

Picture from Jack Johnson's website – Jack Johnson among pieces of garbage found in the ocean

Picture from Jack Johnson's website – Jack Johnson among pieces of garbage found in the ocean

I always knew Jack Johnson (as an active surfer) was aware of environmental problems, but I only found out yesterday, that his tour this year will be a huge supporter of "more than 140 non-profits through his environmental campaign and social action network, All At Once. One of the primary aims of Johnson’s tour is to provide greener alternatives during his shows in order to lessen their impacts on the environment and the cities in which he’s performing." (Quote from here)

I love to hear these kind of things. I love when influencers raise their voice in order to protect nature and raise awareness about environmental issues. It also reminds me to work harder and pay more attention to it. One step at a time. I believe that if we all make small adjustments and pay more attention, it generates the flow around us, and makes others do the same. Not by talk about it, but by doing it. Now please, go and listen to some Jack Johnson while you're sorting your clothes and donating or selling the excess. You'll feel better, I promise. (In a later post I'll expound how, but I hope you'll know by then).