Back To 365 Drawing Boards

For Carson Einarsen, this past year felt like “back to the drawing board.”

365 times.

Carson — a rising senior at Staples — has always liked art.  He spent last summer at Vermont’s Center for Cartoon Studies.  This month, at the Savannah College of Art and Design, he studied comic and sequential art, and animation.

He doesn’t just scribble.  “Life drawing is required for comic art,” Carson says.  “So I do a lot of that.”

Carson does a lot of drawing, period.

Last July, feeling he did not draw faces well, Carson set a goal.  Every day, he’d find a friend’s face on Facebook — then draw it.

And he’d do it every day for a full year.

Carson Einarsen's favorite: a fisheye portrait.

Carson usually drew right before bed.  He’d make an initial pencil sketch on a 3×5 card, then ink it over.  He scanned each drawing — and the photo he used — into his computer.  He posted them all in a Facebook album.  (Search “The fACEs Project” to find it.)

His final drawing — #365 — was Monday night.

“Some were really good.  Some were bad,” Carson says.  “It depended how I felt.”

The 1st sketches took “about 30 seconds.”  By the end, they took 20 minutes.

“I got a lot better — and not just drawing faces,” Carson notes.  “I’m much more attuned now to what makes something look the way it does.”

One of the hardest parts of the project — beyond the discipline of drawing every day — was working from photographs.  “Everything looks flat,” Carson explains.  “When you draw from life, it looks 3D.  I had to work hard to make my drawings look like an actual person.”

Like any artist, Carson has his favorite:  the girl whose Facebook photo showed her looking at a fisheye lens.  “Her face was really distorted,” he says.

Carson's self-portrait -- midway through the project, of himself midway to his current age.

Carson created several “milestone” sketches.  For #184 — the halfway point — he drew himself at half his current age.  Monday’s final drawing shows the same person he did for #1:  classmate Elliott Enriquez.

Last winter, the Westport Arts Center included 80 of Carson’s works in their “Kid Culture” exhibition.  Other than that, though, he hasn’t publicized his project.  It’s his; his personal — and, finally, it’s finished.

So what’s next?

“A comic book series,” Carson says.  “I want to apply everything I’ve learned to comic work.”

He plans to draw one page a week.

For a year?

“No!” he says emphatically.  “I want a different goal — something like 60 pages.”

He pauses, then laughs.

“Wait!  That’s more than a year!”

Back to the drawing board…

Just a few of Carson Einarsen's 365 sketches.

5 responses to “Back To 365 Drawing Boards

  1. Fred Cantor

    A very creative project that required a lot of discipline.

  2. Carson is a super talented and wonderful young man. Last summer I hired Carson and his brother (also super talented) to do creative work with my sons for a week. They did “Movie Week Camp” (like I used to when I taught in summer camps long ago). Every day for a week they wrote scripts, created sets and costumes, then filmed a great movie, which even included a “car chase” (driving slowly, but made to look fast at the editing stage). I learned that the Einarsen brothers are incredible people: kind, considerate, unaffected and responsible. We feel lucky to know them. Any art school (some of my own former art college teachers teach at Savannah College of Art and Design) would be a way better place with Carson Einarsen enrolled.

  3. I used to teach both Carson and Connor comic art. I miss them tremendously but my heart is so full of elation at how much they’ve progressed creatively. Carson, in particular, with his art and ever-undulating imagination have made me more than proud as a teachers, but as someone who has watched him develop over the past few years. There is a powerful sort of optimism to these Einarsens. I’d love to see Carson at SCAD or RISD if he could manage– I just never want to see this creativity stunted. He should be beyond proud of himself for setting up a goal for himself and achieving it so fully.

  4. katherine hooper

    great article! i know carson as well. in fact he did a drawing of me for the project and i get more compliments on it than i have from any photographs of myself. i love carson’s excitement about art and about life. awesome kid.

  5. The Dude Abides

    This must be literary week on the blog. I had the good fortune of being
    friends with the Sagendorf offspring while at Bedford Elemenary. The
    family lived right next door to the school, which was then where the Town
    Hall is now. We used to walk over after school and I would get a glipse of Papa Sagendorf doing “Popeye.” In the new world of Disney back then, it was fascinating. It is nice to see that this fine art is alive and well in the capable hands of Carson. Certainly a talent in a world that I believe now, is often computerized????