An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration From The Private Sketchbooks Of Artists, Illustrators And Designers by Danny Gregory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve had this book sitting on a table next to my recliner for a few years now and finally picked it up to read (my wife, the artist, got it for herself). I am fascinated with the thought processes of any artist, whether visual, musical, literary, architect, … This is a specific snapshot, well… collection of snapshots, of some thoughts and processes. Fifty artists (including the author), fifty samplings from their sketchbooks, their preferences for ink, pencil, types of pens,… and types sketchbooks – Moleskine seems to be popular, but some prefer off the shelf whatevers, some make their own. What they think about, why they sketch, what they do with their sketches, and other words of their choices. I was both surprised and not at some of the commonalities.
A few Takeaways I flagged:
Mattias Adolphsson: “I find that drawing in my sketchbook is easier for me than using other media.”
Butch Belair: “I usually draw in my car. Very few people know I am doing it… Having people watch while I do it would be a bit of a buzzkill. Don’t tread on my Zen, man.”
Bill Brown: “My sketchbooks are filled with words and pictures I haven’t started second-guessing yet.”
Robert (“R.”) Crumb: “My advice: Draw from life as much as you can stand to. That’s where you really learn things, And learn to express your real, personal feelings. And don’t worry about creating masterpieces or only drawing the pretty things. Look for the commonplace, the unnoticed details of everyday reality. To draw fro life is to learn from life. But you know, you need to be compelled by some inner need to fill the blank page, It’s gotta come from within.”
Barry Gott: “I don’t care if the drawings are logical or done well, which is helpful since theri neither.”
Gay Kraeger: “I love the way I see the world since I stated drawing. I like seeing how everything relates to everything else.”
Brody Neuenschwander: “When I draw, I am thinking about how some kind of intensity of meaning can be brought to a genre that has no receptive field in our society [calligraphy].”
A nice collection. I’m not a fan of much of the art I saw, but that doesn’t stop me from admiring the artists, and their processes.
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