Entopic Graphomania


Entopic Graphomania

is a surrealist and automatic method of drawing in which dots are made at the sites of impurities in a blank sheet of paper, and lines are then made between the dots; these can be either ‘curved lines… or straight lines’. (source: wikipedia)

and not a weird skin condition as I originally imagined when I came across it the other day.

In fact, Entopic Graphomania is part of a much larger collection of Surrealist ‘games’ designed to free your imagination from your conscious control and help you discover new art forms, or something.

Whatever the reasoning behind these games, I decided to give this one a crack.

Surrealism - Entopic Graphomania


The book ‘Playing with Sketches – 50 creative exercises for designers and artists’ by Whitney Sherman offers some fun alternatives to the original concept of joining impurities on blank paper (for those of us who don’t have cool paper to play with).  Examples include using junk mail, printed out emails and pages from books to join specific letters, words, punctuations…anything that works for you and will create a network of shapes.

 Swapping blank pages for books:

‘My precious’ – It’s no great secret, I love books. If I had a million of them, there would still be room for one more. So the thought of scribbling all over them in order to liberate my imagination is abhorrent, and is NEVER going to happen.

I came up with an alternative: geometric paper cut type things.

Instead of drawing lines to paper impurities, a chosen letter or word on a book page, I randomly glued bits of paper to more paper, and THEN drew lines from the top left corner of the paper cut shape to the top left corner to those around it (where possible).

I don’t think I managed to fully let go of thinking during the drawing process, but I suspect it’s like anything in life – it takes practice.  Lot’s of it. So fully expect to see other versions of this Surrealist game, and maybe a few vague attempts at some of the other games.

Involuntary Sculpture could be fun.

Heidi Isaksen-Loxton - Logo

2 Comments on #PATTERNPLAY – A lesson in Surrealism

  1. I don’t understand how books enter into it — as a practitioner of entopic graphomania I’ve only used loose-leaf paper or paper cut or torn by perforations from sketchbooks. Likewise the circling of words in books — this might be interesting somehow but it is nothing really to do with entopic graphomania. And the coloured squares, again, interesting as are the results they produce, are rather a retreat from the spirit and the idea.

    • Hi Daniel, I have just reread my blog post and discovered that there is a whole paragraph missing from my post which was supposed to help explain where I was coming from. Thank you for contacting me because I probably would never have spotted that! I have now added it in.

      The using of book pages and other deviations come from Whitney Sherman’s book ‘Playing with Sketches’ – 50 creative exercises for designers and artists. The alternatives suggested serve as a work around for the improvement in paper quality, and to encourage readers to play further by devising your own versions. As you read, I went for the ‘make up your own game’ partly because I didn’t have paper with impurities, I don’t like trashing books, and I wanted to get a hint of what was involved.

      I hope this fills in the annoying gaps I left by my carelessness?

      kind regards Heidi

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