Max Makes

Drawing Tool


Object > Image > Object

An Interactive tool and experiments in generating drawings


This project started with a drawing of hair (The drawing to the left). It was deemed 'too perfect' and although visually appealing, clearly very 'controlled.' It lead me to think about how I draw and how I could shake up my personal habits. 



I set out to make a tool which would take some of the decision making about drawing out of my hands and therefore make the experience of drawing less controlled. It started with some hand drawn erratic lines which I cut out of cardboard. Using these shapes like rulers or stencils I experimented with the types of marks I could make (some examples shown below).

loose drawing.jpg

After working on small postcard sized pattern and mark studies, this was the first large, multi-hour drawing I made with the tool (first iteration, hand cut cardboard) beginning my thinking about how the tool was pushing me to draw in a style entirely unlike my own. 

Which raised the question; Is this a drawing I could not do without the tool, or merely would not do without the tool and drawing rules driving it's creation?


Throughout the process of working with this tool, I was always considering how I was using it, what limitations I could place on my drawing to create interesting results, and how the tool might be changed or improved as I gained more experience. 

The tool which began as large and hand cut out of cardboard, then moved on to the laser cutter where there were iterations made of wood and then plexiglass. 


I was inspired by a Swiss Army Knife to style the different shapes like 'blades' and utilize some kind of hinge which would allow the tool to create new shapes in the negative space between the blades. 

The tool became smaller and there were attempts to make a carrying case of sorts. Throughout this all I used the tool to produce more drawings. 


I then used the newest tool (fourth iteration, laser cut plexiglass with wood 'covers') to draw a new large scale piece. After four weeks of doing smaller drawings and experimenting with the rules and limits I set for myself about how I could use the tool, it was clear that my  own personal desire to be ordered and meticulous in my work was pushing through. 

The question at this stage was; Am I changing the tool, or am I just getting 'better' at using it so that I can now draw in a style I am familiar with?


At this point I determined that the drawing tool needed to move beyond my own work, so I developed a new pocket sized version which could be given away.  

tool assembly.jpg