Draw Me A Broadsheet
“Do contemporary societies still need tales of creatures and monsters?” Chloe Hou asksJoyce Hsiang and Bimal Mendis, this question ripples beyond the square base of the Draw Me A ____ box. A literal box informed by creases on a flat plane, folded by hands that imagine a broadsheet can invite physical interaction and unexpected functions…a hat when turned upside down, a lampshade when placed over a light bulb, a container for past issues on your desk. A box which at times is reluctant to be a box: the looseness of the iconic P! newsprint warping the purity of creased 90-degree corners, articles that can’t quite be read in box-form, an issue so graphically beautiful that it almost wants to be hung on a wall and pondered on in between tasks versus all at once. Yet the manifestation of this issue in 2D and 3D form upholds the demands of the Little Prince and his desire to imagine an existence beyond what is visible. This issue raises more questions than answers. It’s a vessel for us to imagine with rather than understand; which is exactly the point of Paprika — a space in whatever form to forge and pursue the unconventional.
To read Draw Me A ____, I started at the perimeter, comparable to beginning a puzzle I began with what was least (visually) intimidating. A fixation on green in Ariel Bintang’s “Don't Wear Green” asked me to highlight the color, perhaps as an act of defiance but more to remember. Notated with a  and rotating to . Xinyu Chen’s feelings of manipulation in the Barcelona Pavilion, cut through with a red line where “The Phantom of The Free Plan” superimposes the article text. I draw a line around it to get comfortable moving inwards and around.  pushes my pencil closer to the center of the page and asks: “Do You Read Me?”
 a constellation imagined through pointillism by Rukshan, wanting to grow beyond the bounds of the paper, an entire night sky. I want another drawing! So the line moves to Yumemaru Kashino’s “Monster With Six Legs And No Torso”, a creature who I would argue has a torso and is somewhat reminiscent of Truman Burbank and Gentle Rosenburg the Arquillian Jeweler. I’m a bit lost, the blue line surrounding the monster looks around and creeps back up and past Rukshan’s stars to  Ipek’s day trip which draws itself as a daydream.
I haven’t used green in a while… Let’s try a darker shade for  Sam Golini’s “Domovoy” which coincidentally mirrors the green in Ariel’s piece, an act of intuitive superstition. The mental picture of a spiritual presence formed through words inevitably ties back to physical forms and representation influenced by storytelling. To disregard this little gremlin would be an atrocity to society. The little guardian tells me to draw a line to his neighbor , Dilara’s cake with no center, an inversion of the box.
Further seeking a narrative that turns the world inside out, this line meanders to  and switches to pink, an homage to Shoshana Torn’s “evening star [which] casts a pink glow onto what remains”. Still avoiding the mass of text in the center, a rock in the stream, I find myself on the other side  where Timothy Wong asks “Is a drawing still a drawing when it is literally drawn by a computer?” Good question! For me, this falls into the category of what makes a good drawing? …a question I was left with once more at the very end of Chloe’s Timothy Wongwith Bimal and Joyce. This is an eternal yet essential debate that seeks a follow-up in a Draw Me A ____ part 2.
Subconsciously, this shifts my gaze to Rachel Ghindea’s digital drawing of a river  a call back to Harold Fisk’s mapping of the Mississippi River (1944). I wonder if this drawing depicts the same type of river emulated by the “On the Ground” (?) text that flows between articles and around the physical page.  Christina Zhang asks us, “What’s a Wall?” a question architects should ask themselves at least 100 times. Do yourself a favor and view the enlarged illustration online, it chronicles an individual’s perception of a wall through time. Bummed out that I am the older human drawing a proper wall in Revit… but I too will always channel the younger self that imagined creatures instead of insulation.
 Smaranda Rusinaru asks us to challenge the visible by drawing the invisible, paired harmoniously with her drawing of creation through the form of weaving.  My now purple pencil finds its way around a drawing called, “Here be Dragons,” to one called “Autonomous Creature of Rivers and Clouds.” They are unexpected neighbors on this page, begging the possibility of a P! issue with one huge collective drawing.  Diana’s “Textural Landscapes”, circled in yellow, I totally misread, which I hope gave it new meaning!
We’ve made it to ; “In Conversation: Joyce Hsiang and Bimal Mendis” actually felt pretty fitting to round out this journey as it left me with some potent questions*. Paprika! cranks out an incredible number of issues every year, each one unique: some beg to be read, some are impossible to read, some are not broadsheets at all, this one wants to be a box… how do we remember these? As we navigate the online platform, encourage alumni interaction, and disseminate physical copies, I call back to Joyce’s comment about records that were never curated (or change in curation over time) and the idea of preservation vs. closing things off. This is not so much a critique of where Paprika finds itself at this time but rather a celebration. Like the old issues scattered around the school at the end of a semester, “fragments of existence” allow new readings impacted by what is remembered and what is forgotten, what is (in)visible, (un)explored, and (re)imagined.
I would love to see a follow-up to Draw Me A ____ ! It would be great to have some thoughts from students who worked on “The World Turned Inside Out”. I watched many of them tirelessly draw the earth, print, and reprint, wondering how it would all come together. I am curious how their perspective on the process, drawing, and representation evolved through that endeavor.