I stumbled upon Chandler O’Leary’s Drawn The Road Again travel blog thanks to one of my favorite daily reads, HonestlyWTF. As Chandler journeys from coast to coast, her memories transform into pen, ink, and watercolor onto the pages of her many moleskin notebooks. In drawing these experiences, she honors their temporal beauty more than she ever could with just a mere photograph. The simplicity of this act is a pure revelation; paying homage through expressive representation is a tradition that goes back to the origin of art itself. With new media flying around every day, we often forget how meaningful these artistic forms can be. They serve as a relic of the cultural and physical landscape we so take for granted. They remind us that in order to cultivate and preserve memories, we must pause, absorb, and reflect. This obviously comes second nature to Chandler, but her choice to share this passionate diary is as courageous as it is generous. She invites us into her personal history and her marks guide us through a romantic look at places and things we may have never noticed on our own. I’m so thankful that she took time out of her busy travels to connect with me and I hope you feel as enlightened as I do by her sincerity and dedication to her craft.
Describe what your work is about in one sentence.
I document my life and travels via sketchbook drawings, in order to create a record of where I’ve been and what I’ve experienced.
What’s your favorite object to draw?
Lettering. I’m a fiend for type (I’m a lettering artist in my “normal” professional work), so I’m always on the lookout for found typography, hand-lettered signs, vintage neon and street lettering. There’s a treasure trove of beautiful lettering out in the world, and some of the best stuff was done by people who were never trained as an artist or designer.