An artists’s well worn sketchbook, with pages so packed with creativity that you can barely close the book, is sometimes as beautiful as their greatest masterpieces. Nowhere else do you get an unfiltered peek at what’s inside an artist’s head. A sketchbook can be an idea generator, a diary, a travelogue or anything else you want it to be. Here are a few beautiful books that will hopefully bring some inspiration to you this week.
Alison Worman’s books are packed with textiles, gorgeous drawings, layered paper and embroidery. Every page tells a story and is beautiful in its own way. The loose threads give her books an ethereal quality, like they could unravel at any moment. Not only are the pages inside beautiful, the books are extraordinary as objects themselves.
The amount of detail in illustrator and comics artist Mattais Adolfsson’s sketches is mindblowing. Many of his drawings pull you into a sci-fi world where technology overwhelms everything, but you can still find the humanity if you look for it. He also draws the everyday in architectural studies and cityscapes that are equally as impressive. I highly recommend taking a look at the rest of his work which can be found here.
If you have children in your life, or are a children’s literature enthusiast, you may recognize the little boy in the right corner in the above image as“the Boy”; he’s the hero of many of Oliver Jeffers childrens books. Jeffers is one of my favourite children’s writer/illustrators and I was thrilled to bits when I found out he has pages of his sketchbook up on his website. In these pages you can see the collage, typography, photo manipulation and illustration style that make his books so special.
Many artists keep a sketchbook going at all times, so over the span of years they will amass a stack of books that reveal their progression as an artist, as well as feature their very best ideas alongside the ones they left behind. Artist John Garcia’s sketchbooks are filled with humour, colour and everyday moments from his travels. They also show that a sketchbook can be a free place where you can play as much as you want to, allowing your creativity to flow any which way.
The Sketchbook Project 2013
I have a confession to make; drawing terrifies me. Like many people who spent most of their lives believing that “other people” were good at drawing, not me, it can be torturous trying to complete the simplest sketch. I admire people who can draw with reckless abandon, creating on the page what they see in their head.
The Sketchbook Project is perfect for confident artists as well as artist wannabes like myself because it forces you to fill the pages in a sketchbook no matter what your skill level. They’ll even send you a blank sketchbook and all completed entries will be archived at the Brooklyn Art Library. You can participate from anywhere in the world, but they will be holding sketch-ins and pop-up sketchbook libraries in major US and Canadian cities in the coming months. For more info head to arthouse co-op.