#ALotOutOfLine: A Creative Session with ‘The Blind Contourista’

2015 has been the year of exploration for me. I’ve tiptoed a bit out of my introverted comfort zone quiet a few times and decided to explore because frankly, “if you want to inspire, you have to explore”. So when an old friend of mine invited me out to Brooklyn to partake in something called a blind contour session, I was immediately intrigued. Sure at this point I had no clue what blind contouring was but that didn’t really matter. My intrigued stemmed a bit from the name, I mean come on…“blind contour”… Who wouldn’t be intrigued? And the other half stemmed from knowing anyone my homeboy was working with was worth checking out.

My homeboy’s name is Rej. He is an amazing creative that I’ve been able to see grow and harness his crafts over the last couple of years. He has a unique eye which I love! You can check out some his work HERE.

Welcome to Brooklyn!

So I made my way out to Brooklyn, Bushwick to be exact. A neighborhood that as a New Yorker I’m a bit ashamed to admit I have no idea how to navigate. But hey I’m from Harlem, so I’ll just use that as my excuse.

My stints on the L train are typically shorter. I love Williamsburg and frequent Bedford Ave. A few times I got a little adventurous and traveled out to the Lormier stop for business but this particular quest left me at the Jefferson Ave stop.

As soon as I walked out the station I felt the energy. It was calm, slightly griddy yet amazingly beautiful. The art immediately smacked me in the face once I had a chance to look up from my Google Maps on my Iphone which I was using to find further directions to the cafe. As I walked to AP Cafe, our location for this particular meet up, wall after wall caught my attention as they were covered in massive murals of creative artworks.

I later learned that these paintings were from The Bushwick Collective, a non profit outdoor gallery of artists from all over the world. Their work is so pretty dope I had to include a few of my favs below:

I arrived at AP cafe where Rej introduced me to Chérmelle, the artist behind Blind Contours. After we settled in over lattes and cortados, we dove in.

I was up first. The process began with her taking a picture of me on her camera. After we took our seats across from each other at the table and she began to draw me. Looking at me the whole time, her eyes neglected the paper. They seemed as if they went into a trance mini trance falling deeper with each feature that influenced her pen. It was a sure thing that my afro and big hoops was doing most of the drawing-in and I didn’t mind.

The drawing only lasts a few seconds and after adding her signature and a stamp, followed by some spiffy wrapping of the drawing, the process is all over. But the experience is far from over.

What I liked most about the experience was that even with each of her drawings being different (even when it’s of the same person) the influence(s) is always clear. Note: She’s typically does at least 2 drawings of each subject.

It’s honestly something you have to experience to completely get. Of course we deiced to stick around for some good doughnuts (or so I heard they were) and great conversation. As more people came in to get their drawings done, I got to take a look at her work from a different perspective now being able to see not only her, but her subject as well which I really enjoyed.

Check out the some more pics of our session. And make sure you keep up with The Blind Contourista to catch the next one!