Tag Archives: sketchbooking

wrapping things to unwrap ideas

24 Dec

drawingsnthings1I have been trying to unlock my creative mind’s eye for the past couple months, and as you may remember from my last post, inspiration had been fleeing from me. This is the first year in the past three, that I decided to not participate in Art House’s Sketchbook Project so, I lacked that yearly catalyst which often helps me get to creating and producing after that tiring slump that always follows my holiday shows. I am happy to say that a present came early for me this year as I finally unwrapped some of my ideas last night. Ironically, it was right after I wrapped up a new journal. Perhaps all it took was starting with something “crafty” that didn’t require a fabulous outcome. I mean how hard is it to coat a cover in glue then stick some brown paper onto it? drawingsnthings2 drawingsnthings3That simple action of just making got me going, and all of a sudden I was in a creative mood, turning to blank pages, grabbing from piles of collected ephemera, diving into paints to mix specific hues, etc… the discovery of material was a definite stimulus. I forgot how much fun it is to just “play,” and before I knew it my first two page spread was complete. It is my hope that this new bound book will become a frequent creative vehicle for me in the new year that will foster the documentation of thoughts. Did you wrap or unwrap something today that inspired you? (Christmas pun intended).

snuggling up to my sketchbook

31 Dec

As I mentioned yesterday, I am hoping to become much better friends with my sketchbook in 2013. There is something to be said about collecting thoughts, visuals, ephemera, and ideas between pretty, patterned and colorful bound pages. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but sketchbooking regularly can help things surface in your work and make them more obvious: trends, themes, subconscious thoughts, exploration, successes, failures, starting points, etc. I wanted to share a bunch of ways to make sketchbooking easy, approachable and fun, because you can do so much more than just draw in your sketchbook! sketchbooking1Get messy: paint, draw, scribble, tape, scratch, even cut! Gone are the days where you should worry about marker bleed-through, or squishing paint over the edges of the page: sometimes those ghost images from previous pages can help inspire your next creation.  Have you ever heard of “Wreck This Journal” by Keri Smith? Essentially each page has a prompt to get you instantly making and creating, instead of being intimidated by the blank page. For those looking to go on a creative sketchbooking adventure with NO limitations, you should pick this one up, or check out this Flickr group where people share their finished “wrecked” pages. sketchbooking2Slap it on there: collage, attach, tape, glue, or tuck in little bits of memorabilia. As someone who loves to look at visual clutter  for inspiration (have you seen my studio walls?) it makes sense to create little visual collections in a sketchbook as well; there just aren’t enough walls to hang up all the awesome paper ephemera I come across. Add in colored/textured/patterned papers, tape down a cool image, glue in bits and bobs, slap on a sticker or stamp, etc. Adding any or all of these things creates visual interest, layers and texture, and can also be inspiration for mixed media layers, or an adjacent page.  A person who never turns a book page without adding a little ephemera or a line of washi tape to it, is my pal Zie Campbell who loves to do Smashbooking (just like a sketchbook with a scrapbooking twist). sketchbooking3Just Doodle: no one said it has to instantly be a masterpiece! One of the greatest things about a sketchbook is that there shouldn’t be any expectations. You aren’t drawing on a fancy rag paper, or an expensive canvas… it’s just ONE page of a big book, so don’t be scared! Just doodle from your mind, draw a quick silly cartoon, sketch from a photograph, or go for a walk and draw your surroundings. It may be one of the best drawings you ever make (amazing things happen when there are no expectations or pressure), or if your drawing turns out poorly and you’re unhappy with it, it can easily be covered with paints or collage so that you can start a new image with a fresh approach (like above). My friend Ella Masters always makes my heart melt with her adorable little sketchbook illustrations. She usually just explores using graphite with subtle splashes of watercolor or colored pencil, and her doodles often stem as inspiration her larger creations/bodies of work, like her recent series of bearded/tattooed men.

I hope my new sketchbook pages, the few of the artists I’ve shared, and the three media tips help get you exploring and doodling with me! It feels good to have a renewed dedication to an artistic outlet I have always enjoyed. I’ll make sure to continue sharing my progress in the New Year, along with other art techniques, and be sure to share yours as well (either with a link in the comments below or e-mail me).

And so I’ll end this post with one hand waving goodbye to 2012, and the other holding a sketchbook for 2013.

looking back, stepping forward

30 Dec

2012-1 2012-2 2012-4 2012-3 2012-72012-15 2012-8 2012-9 2012-12 2012-13 2012-14I had two art-related “resolutions” for 2012… One of them I did alright at: One Line a Day Diary (1), apart from a few missing weeks, I was better at recording my everyday events than most years! My other resolution, I wasn’t so great at: Sketchbooking. Looking back, 2012 was insanely busy! By the time I had completed my 2012 Sketchbook for Art House (2) at the end of January, I was onto my Limited Edition Sketchbook (3). There was the wonderful spring trip to Mexico (4), which was a great getaway but yielded few drawings. When we got back to Canada, I got busy re-designed my etsy shop, then my parents moved into their cabin, and Spring came to a close when John and I did our big move to the Kootenays (5). I dabbled a little bit in my sketchbook come summer (while things seemed a bit more calm) and had my highest number of daily blog views about some of my doodles (6). But as always, time quickly melted away while setting up the studio (7), programming a new blog layoutspending quality time with new friends (8), and doing festivals like Tour of the Arts! Come fall, I landed a new part-time job that was 20 hours a week and suddenly winter was fast approaching and I got busy on holiday designs. In the blink of an eye November arrived and craft season was upon me, which consisted of 7 pop up markets including Make It (9) and Nelson Prestige (10), plus 2 gallery exhibitions! It wasn’t until mid-December that those were done, and by then I was cleaning house, doing laundry and packing clothes for Christmas at the cabin(11)… It makes sense that I didn’t find much time for my sketchbook. For 2013, I’m going to make another run at my resolutions, and I’ve already had a head start on some sketchbooking. Tomorrow I will share a few of my new pages, some fun techniques you can try, and link to a few bloggers who are always inspiring with their little sketchbooks. Got any resolutions that you could afford to take another run at in 2013? You can do it: the second try is always easier.