Book Club > Author Interviews > Peng & Hu: Outside The Lines

Peng & Hu: Outside The Lines

Added March 8
Peng & Hu: Outside The Lines

Sometimes it’s wonderful to allow your brain to run wild and create wonderful artwork before your very own eyes, and that’s precisely what hirameki is. Translated from Japanese as ‘brainwave’, hirameki is simply the art of ink blot drawings. Originally inspired by the Rorschach Inkblot Test, artists Peng & Hu decided to develop a book all about it called Hirameki: Draw What You See. Naturally, we had to find out more about it and how it can help us crafters explore new types of mark-making. Read our top tips on getting gloriously colourful blots with watercolours, insights from the experts on why its the new method for mindfulness and five reasons why you should trade in your old colouring books and try hirameki. Get inking today!

So what exactly is hirameki?

The hirameki technique involves adding random doodles to splotches of paint. It has no technical requirements at all, which has fast caused it become popular in the ‘mindfulness’field due to the freedom it gives crafters. Use inks, paints or whatever you like to apply your colour, then grab a fineline pen and allow your imagination to do the rest.

How did a book all about it occur?

Authors Peng & Hu discovered the technique in their studio and thought about how they would give it more structure to allow them to teach it to beginners. After meeting with German publisher Antje Kunstman, it wasn’t long until the book Hirameki was in production. Peng and Hu’s main objective with the book was to lead the reader from creating single drawings to completing full blot-to-blot scenes in seven enjoyable sections.

How can a beginner learn hirameki?

Perfecting the technique comes gradually; firstly, you use little pen lines to bring ink blots to life, then you advance to making various blots into many types of the same motif – for instance, you could draw a cat on each paint mark. Slowly, your imagination will open up to the possibilities and you’ll start thinking ‘outside the blots’ to create scenes from bigger groups of blots. What is left at the end of the book is an intricate, fully inked scene, and hopefully, a calm and inspired reader!

How can I use the hirameki technique to achieve mindfulness?

The immersive, therapeutic nature of hirameki is what mindfulness is all about – calming the mind and busying the hands. Peng & Hu recommend hirameki as the perfect way to achieve a sense of calm. They say, “Colouring books are bestsellers and bookshops are full of them. Hirameki inspires people; it makes them happy and sparks creativity. It’s open to so many directions and perfect for people who like to play with their imaginations”. Sounds good to us!


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