This is my sketch blog.
email: eleanor (at) doing-fine (dot) com / portfolio / shop / twitter / tumblr


I draw people laughing and crying a lot, and once tried to turn that into a final piece - it looks interesting, and was good gouache practice, but otherwise didn't really work. It's big, too.

I did the poster for this years Thought Bubble Comics Festival in Leeds!


  1. Hi Eleanor! Long time listener, first time caller.

    I don't believe that it is possible to make a thing that has no meaning. Nor is it possible to know what the meaning actually is of anything we make (since meaning alters drastically from viewer to viewer).

    So (if one agrees with me) the meaning-required attitude is both crippling and moot. Poor, poor attitude.

  2. I think it is possible to do something without meaning in the sense that it feels like it has no intent, no soul. BUT I think that is very difficult for someone to do, harder than doing something with "meaning." I agree that always thinking about it is a crippling attitude. I've been crippled by it many times.

    I love the crying laughing people! Color flows from your brush as naturally as a sunset.

  3. What does "meaning" mean?

    That said, the Theseus and Minotaur poster for the Thought Bubble Fest is AMAZING! in some ways the expanded version looks even cooler on the website, adding further context. What medium is that?

  4. I'd agree with Ryan that meaningless art is art that has no soul (whatever 'soul' means); it's dishonest in the sense that it doesn't truly reflect the artist. The type of meaninglessness I most often see in art, especially my own, is from copying. You see a beautiful and moving picture of a stag, or mysterious woman looking into the distance, and trying to invoke that power you draw also picture of a stag or a mysterious woman - but it's not from your heart, and somehow you and the people who see it can tell. I do this constantly. I have so many mysterious-women-looking-into-the-distance drawings in my sketchbook it's not funny. Sometimes artists even copy their own work - you did a wonderful picture of a mysterious woman once, and so you try to do it again and again, and bam, you're that chick who draws nothing but shitty pictures of mystery-women. Scary.

    The trouble is this: I can tell when my images don't have meaning after they're done, but not before I do them. That's where the crippling comes in. If you're always thinking "Will this picture I'm drawing be good? What does it mean?" it will fuck you up!

    I mostly try to draw honestly, and when possible, ecstatically.

    The minotaur picture was in gouache! I like gouache a lot; something I never would have guessed struggling through color theory 1.

  5. Eleanor,

    I'd have to say that yours is a really good definition of "meaning" in this context; which is to say "honesty." If what you do doesn't mean anything to you, it unlikely will mean anything to anybody.

  6. Oh, I see! You mean a certain GOOD kind of meaning!

    Because I would submit that, strictly speaking, the meaning of the art you dismiss is partly that it is now labeled "meaningless", and partly that icky feeling inside when something you labored over and invested in came out crappy. And WHO KNOWS what meaning might arise inside another person if they look at it?

    I know I'm semantically quibbling, and accepting the narrower definition I completely agree with all of you. I just like to give even the crappy pictures of the world a little bit of love.