Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

Often when we describe a person, we talk about their expressions, their hair, their eyes. This is pretty normal because when you first meet someone, their face is where you look, right? But when you are getting to know, or imagining, someone you are drawing, painting, writing about, or photographing, you want to go deeper. One way to do this is to zoom in on someone’s hands before examining their face.

One of my favorite writing teachers, Laurie Lawlor, introduced this exercise to me (Stephanie). It’s shown me that hands can tell you so much about someone. For example, the cuts, scrapes, and grease on my dude’s hands tell you about his job as a mechanic. The tiny white scar on my pinky tells the story of when I was in fourth grade and cut it pretty badly in my family’s Christmas tree stand. If you look at another person’s hands, chances are there is something there—a scar, a ring, a callus—that sparks a story you want to tell, or something you want to show through your art.

This week, try to get to know someone by really looking at their hands. Reveal as much as you can about them—like whether they’re a gamer, a knitter, a musician, or a master chef—through this part of them alone. What do their hands have to say? Send those stories or pictures (along with your first name, last initial, age, and city) to [email protected] with the subject line “Creative Prompt” by Monday, October 19 at 6 PM EST.

Last week, we asked you to turn back the clock to an era that intrigued you. Here’s what you saw in your time travels.