A few years back I was having a bit of an artist block. My ideas were limited and I was having trouble concentrating. I didn’t want to be who I was. It was winter and my seasonal depression disorder was kicking into high gear. Like many people, the first three months of the year are like garlic and cross to a vampire. Some of my best drinking is done during these months.
One night I came up with a brilliant idea. I call it the UTI Process. If you commit, you may come up with some great art. If you fail, it may hurt when you pee. I kid. UTI stands for Under the Influence. It’s a three part process. The first two parts are pretty easy and fun.
Part one: Pick a bar or maybe three. Don’t drive during this part. I’m in NYC so I walk or take a cab to most of my destinations. Once at the bar have some drinks and talk to as many people as you can, the weirder the better. Arguments are fine, but no bar fights. Drink what you can handle and don’t be an asshole. No one likes an asshole. Part one can last for many hours, but time will fly by. Once completed move on to Part Two.
Part two: Leave the bar and get home safe. A cab home is usually interesting. Many a good forgotten conversation with the cab driver has been had. A walk home is better because it means I’m in the, “several block radius” of my apartment. Once home I usually place my coat and outerwear about the apartment, talk to and feed the cats and, if she’s not with me, wake up my wife. You can do your own thing. Maybe you’ll raid the fridge or use the toilet, etc... next I’ll sit on the couch and take off my footwear, scroll through some music on Apple TV and belt out a few tunes. Once I’m warmed up I grab the pencil and paper I laid out for myself earlier in the evening and begin some loose drawings. I think of the conversations and ideas I had earlier in the evening and put them down on paper. I see all these great things and imagine the most amazing art. I do as many as I can before I pass out on the couch.
Part three: This is the hard part. When I wake up the next day with a pounding headache, not sure how I made it into bed and my mouth tasting like a cat turd, I run into the living room like it’s Christmas Morning and I’m looking for presents. Not really. What I find are the scribbles from the night before. What I do now is use the scribbles as the base of my new drawing. I try to stay true to what I drew when I was drunk and just add to it. I did this for an entire winter one year and I came up with some nice pieces. I suppose you could do this without the drinking, and I do, but it’s not quite the same. I suggest using the UTI Process at least once or twice if you can. Don’t do it to much or you might end up with a drinking problem. I also suggest using different drawing techniques and mediums while using the process. Go crazy. Experiment, what have you got to loose?