Thursday, December 20, 2007

Shiney and Knew

I have a new sketchbook. My previous sketchbook met an untimely end in the form of a diet coke with lime haphazardly stashed in my bag (Al is always getting on me about the stinkin lids, he's right). This new sketchbook is larger than my typical- and it has thinner pages, which I am not getting used to. I normally love and endorse the moleskin variety of sketchbooks because they have nice thick pages and a pocket for treasures in the back. This time I opted for a generic. I am a starving artist, am I not? And it was so much cheaper. But still.

Sketchbooks are interesting personality indicators. Some of my friends liked to share their sketchbooks with the world; I remember the first sketchbook I saw, a friend of mine at diabetic camp was An Artist- it was fascinating and made me envious of his mad skills. Sometimes it feels voyeuristic to look at someone's sketchbook, but if they offer to show you- it is inspiring usually to see where ideas hatch from.
Some artists Only carry sketchbooks and never produce anything else. These books are reverent and meticulous and will surely by purchased by the Met for millions of dollars someday. They are usually pristine, and would never ever ever meet a diet coke in a dark alley while walking to a concert. Ever.
Some artists don't use them at all, but instead have all manner of paper scraps tacked to the walls of their houses. I believe this is how my friend Jacob works, but I am not really certain. He may have a sketchbook I don't know about- a gritty, gory, tea-stained masterpiece of a book that he let some poor writer somewhere borrow for the evening so he could jot down notes about the brilliant time he had out making mischief with a bottle of gin and a road bike. If so, Jake will probably never see said sketchbook again. I'm sure he is just fine with that, and will continue tacking napkins and paper bags to his wall very elegantly.

I am fiercely guarded when it comes to my sketchbooks. CIA, Top Secret Clearance, Beware, Invisible Ink. Not that there is anything in it, really. Just my own personal Genesis. The only reason I shared the picture of this one is because the ink on the first page was still wet. The first page generally sets the mood for the whole book, and this first page is now filled with an ornate pattern that finds it's roots in the compass rose/rosy cross/dogwood blossom kind of motif. My last few sketchbooks have been font and word studies, I think this one will be filled with patterns. I am about to embark on a cross country holiday plane ride, so hopefully the pages will fill quickly and fruitfully.

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