It’s been the school holidays. My computer broke whilst I was teaching myself valuable new computer skills, so I did a few sketches.
I’ve had a RedBubble shop for years and years and never sold a single thing. I’m not moaning, I’ve done absolutely no work on it and if you have a shop but don’t change the stock or advertise in any way you can expect nothing to happen. It didn’t seem worth the endless amount of hours it takes to refine work for reprint and the gaps in my knowledge seemed utterly enormous. Best to stick to book illustration, I thought, for ages.
But Illustrators Australia are running a wonderful exhibition call ‘Wear Art Thou’, and because I just adore the title I thought I’d challenge myself to designing a t.shirt. I’m not great at it, but it’s fun and in the process I have learnt loads and loads and loads of really useful and interesting stuff about Photoshop and uploading stuff online. It seems you just have to sit and read all the guidance they have to offer and follow it, and practice and read it again and then do it properly without skipping bits. Much like learning any other stuff really. So I’m completely addicted to it now.
So here’s my work in the shop and here it is too, just for you.
A few weeks ago I watched a video by an illustrator. It was a talk on her work practices. She bordered of being OCD but her approach was something I feel I’d like to adopt. It centred around systematically and routinely creating according to rules and commitment. Sounds really boring and not at all artistic but the results were often very beautiful and led on to unexpected discoveries.
It made me think of the last time I approached something in this way, unrelated to creating a book. Last year I took part in the Sketchbook Project. Despite having other work that needed to be done I somehow fitting in creating a pop-up book by hand. I had no plan for it before I started, just a set of rules. It was a diary, and by the time it was finished I was very happy with the results. It’s now archived in the New York library and I’m hoping that one of my kids will go and look it up sometime. On Tuesday this week I met an old friend who is now working in a local gallery and she said she’d printed off some examples from it for use in gallery education for kids. I don’t know how it worked but I was thrilled that it had been used in this context.
So it’s Sketchbook Project time again! The book has been sitting on my desk for quite a while so I’ve decided to impose some rules;
1/ Deadline in 8 weeks. 10th Sept.
2/ At least 2 pieces a week, sometimes 3.
3/ 18 double page spreads.
4/ Don’t overthink it. It’s a sketchbook.
5/ Use random selections of words and phrases from a favourite novel as inspiration and page titles.
6/ Each page must include collage.
7/Copy and post each page before constructing the book
So here is the first one!
I love my chooks
Sometimes it’s really great to just empty your head and draw. I watched a little video of Shaun Tan talking about how he approaches starting a book. He said most of the time it starts with a bunch of drawings that seemingly come from nowhere. Here’s the result of my drawing daydream.
I thought I’d try to start the day with a random sketch. I went for a particularly blowy walk on the beach this morning. The dogs had heaps of fun….I was going to say they had a ball but realised they are dogs and that could be misunderstood. They’re not intelligent enough for a ball, they prefer to bark at the waves very stupidly.