patterns & paws – progress 2

13 Sep

I surprised Anika Starmer (@aisforanika) by mailing our collaboration to her without warning her. I hope she did a little surprised happy dance at the post box! I kept the envelopes contents simple, because the real gems are inside the sketchbooks. I wrote Anika a short note on a rad Gama-Go postcard and sent along 2 weiner dog stickers (one for otto and one for kasi), plus of course, our 2 EPIC collaborative sketchbooks patterns & paws all housed inside a stay flat mailer covered in sweet stamps. If you haven’t seen the inital post about this project or seen the progress 1 post, I suggest checking them out! Below are all the snapshots of my recent additions to the fabulous ‘patterns & paws’ sketchbooks. So far in the project, this was the first time that I got to respond to imagery that Anika had made. It was really exciting to have a bit of inspiration to draw from. The first set of images she drew detailed this lovely swooping pattern. I remember watching this “style” develop when Anika was working on her 20 in 20 giveaway. I saw these swooping patterns as perhaps scratch marks, or digging marks, and thus continued the line work over into my metallic paws. Her side of the next set of diptychs, featured this interesting pattern done with intricate line work. I noticed that each little “square” of color was made up of 7 lines. 7 is known as a lucky number, and rabbits are known for their lucky paws. It seemed to fit perfectly. Next was the first 2 page spread, where our imagery mixes instead of staying split between two pages. Anika’s patterns on both spreads made me think of sky and sea colliding, and so I created some wicked transfers of birds & fish from some vintage 1970’s illustrations I’ve been collecting. These spreads also make me think of a happy ending to the metaphoric question “a bird may love a fish but where would they build their home?” In the patterns and paws sketchbook of course! The next set of spreads were my first shot at starting a two-page spread. In my last mail art package from Anika, she sent a pile of different graph papers and said she often uses them as a base or a template for some of her patterns. So I figured I would washi tape them in, and apart from using my existing imagery as a starting point, she’d also have the familiarity of graph paper to draw from. I used black ink to doodle in some of my favorite textures from the animal world; “patterns” per se, that are on paws such as fur, scales, and skin. I created a tile pattern & left the same amount of blank spaces for Anika to use. The following pages were for me to begin 2 diptychs. The first pair of images were inspired by my love of snail mail. Canada is lucky to have tons of gorgeous wildlife, and I am so proud of the stamps CP produces that honor these adorable creatures. Two of my favorite stamps issued are the white-tail deer and the walrus. The original stamp sheets also have these little paw corners and small silhouettes of the wildlife. Postal and script washi tape plus my local post office’s stamp were added to expand the paw mail theme.The last images I added to the books this round were inspired by some gorgeous found illustrations of paw tracks of both a grey squirrel and a cottontail from a hunting guide. I glued the collected paw ephemera vertically on the left, and added a delicate graphite portrait of each furry creature to the right of it.For your viewing pleasure, I decided to include a few of my favorite detail shots:I am already so proud of our progress with this collaboration and really, we have just begun! I hope Anika is super motivated to ‘reply’  to my additions and I also hope our readers are inspired by this unique project! Thanks for reading, your comments, reactions and feedback are always welcome.

20 Responses to “patterns & paws – progress 2”

  1. Jessika Dené Tarr 13/09/2011 at 13:33 #

    This project is wunderbar. You two collaborate well. I think the fish ones may be my favourite.

  2. Jules Young (@muddleduck) 13/09/2011 at 13:35 #

    It’s looking amazing! I love the way your work is so different and yet goes together so beautifully :) Will keep a closer eye on the progress! x

  3. Jeannine | SaylorMade 13/09/2011 at 13:40 #

    This is such a great collaborative project!! How many more exchanges are left? I love each spread but I’m particularly fond of the fish illustrations.

    • naturesmyfriend 13/09/2011 at 13:50 #

      I haven’t counted, but there’s definitely a few left… We draw 6 drawings in each sketchbook during each exchange – a response to 2 diptychs and adding to an existing spread. Then creating 2 new diptychs and starting a 2 page spread. We’ll just keep going until the books are filled up!

  4. Anna Jane Searle 13/09/2011 at 13:43 #

    This is all totally wicked, Loving the squirrel and rabbit drawings… beautifully detailed.

  5. Anna Jane Searle 13/09/2011 at 13:45 #

    also… the paws with the lines above them, they really echo Anika’s drawings here.

  6. eraser carver 13/09/2011 at 14:34 #

    I’m really loving watching this project progress. Your two different styles merge so beautifully together to create one whole. Looking forward to seeing more.

  7. Kye Sangha (@KyeSangha) 13/09/2011 at 22:18 #

    These are becoming so rich & textural! I am holding my breath to see them when they are done!

  8. Aleka 14/09/2011 at 00:41 #

    I love it so far, you and Anika make an amazing team!

  9. Crystal 14/09/2011 at 14:15 #

    You two ladies are super talented! I love seeing your books.

  10. Chantal Vincent Art 14/09/2011 at 18:10 #

    Looking lovely! What a sweet collaboration.

  11. anika 14/09/2011 at 20:10 #

    This was such a fun surprise! Feeling super inspired & looking forward to the weekend when I can start working on it. I love the way our works are harmonizing perfectly.

  12. kimi kobashi 14/09/2011 at 20:28 #

    Wow, this set in particular is breathtaking! It’s hard to pick a favorite from such a wonderful set. Great job, Anika & Jessica! ^_^ I’m curious about the transfers you made with the fish and birds. How did you do it? Were you using an acrylic medium to transfer a photocopy? Or did you mean you traced… or some other method? Anika’s colorful pencils with your black and white graphite look fantastic together.

    • naturesmyfriend 14/09/2011 at 21:22 #

      It is a packing tape transfer. Start with a xerox copy or OLD books with low-quality printing lay packing tape over top of the image – layer it if your image is larger than the width of your tape. Rub with a burnisher or a spoon (the adhesive will absorb the ink). Then soak the page in cool water & rub the paper off from the back until you are left with the transparent tape & the ink! Give it a try!!! if my explanation isn’t that clear I’m sure there is a tutorial on the internet.

  13. kimi kobashi 19/09/2011 at 00:41 #

    Thanks, Jessica! That’s interesting. I didn’t notice the tape in the photos so didn’t suspect that. I’ve only done transfers using matte medium, so I’ll give this a try!


  1. busy postboxes | - 18/09/2011

    […] John and I the most lovely engagement present and Anika Starmer (@aisforanika) discovered our awesome collaborative project in her post box. With all of these fun things making their way around the globe, who can say snail mail is boring!? […]

  2. patterns & paws – progress 3 | - 06/04/2012

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  3. patterns & paws – even more! | - 18/04/2012

    […] of paws & animals. If this is the first you have heard of the project, click here, here, here and here to watch the gradual evolution that these two sketchbooks have encountered over the past […]

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    […] this collaboration includes the specifics of the project while the following four posts here, here, here and here, chronicle the additions as the two sketchbooks have progressed. Essentially we […]

  5. hello patterns & paws | - 28/06/2013

    […] of the project be sure to check out these six previous posts (in chronological order):  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Below are my latest additions to the books: the first three photos capture my responses […]

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