This is a doodle from my sketchbook, drawn on the fly. I remember it was a lazy afternoon sitting on my boyfriend’s couch and I just let my micron pen run itself across the paper. Sometimes these spontaneous kinds of drawings end up being the best. I wonder if I could cover a much larger space with these forms. They seem to be some weird kind of floral vegetation, but I can’t say exactly what. It kind of reminds me of kale. What does it remind you of?
Before this commission, it had been a long looong time since I had made drawings or paintings from reference material. I knew I could do it, but I was secretly a bit intimidated and even doubtful of my skills. As I got started sketching, it was like my eyes came back to life. I guess after a whole adolescence of drawing and doodling, your hands just don’t forget. I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to be reminded that I can do this.
Unfortunately my photo editing skills still leave something to be desired, so these pictures don’t do my handiwork as much justice as I’d like. Hopefully you can still at least get a sense of how they might look in front of you; they are lighter and more delicate in real life, which is true of all my drawings and thus always presents problems in translating to digital form.
Regardless, I’m pretty happy about the end result. The whole process helped me learn more about how to create work within my new living context; you’d be surprised by how much of this I did sitting in my own bed! These drawings were built layer by layer, very slowly, and I had to figure out the point at which I could stop painting and feel like I had accomplished a finished product. With a firm deadline, I was finally able to do this and what’s more thrilling to me than anything is that there is someone out there honoring me by hanging my work in their home (hopefully I can have pictures of that soon). I’m so grateful to have found this support in a time of uncertainty in my life and my work. I’m hoping it only grows from here.
I bow down to the creators of Pinterest. Never have I ever had such organized imagery inspiration to keep track of all the things that make me look or think twice. As you can imagine, the boards closest to my heart are those related to my craft – art, installation, and illustration. Here is some of my favorite illustrative work found via Pinterest:
For more illustrious inspiration, check out my illustration board on Pinterest!
Not sure where I stumbled upon this work, but I’m sure glad I did. The delicacy, the subtlety, the dots… it just all screams my name.. or rather, whispers. Patti Roberts Pizzuto elegantly layers media to create ethereal compositions, sometimes abstract and other times using familiar symbols of home, sky, earth, and sea. The balance she creates has an ancient quality, almost as if they were mental or psychological maps of times past.
When I first began this interview series, I had no idea what I was in for. I thought it could be a fun side project that would push me to connect with other creative individuals and provide a platform for the inspirational voices of others. It indeed does those things, but I couldn’t have predicted how important it would become to me, to my own journey. The opportunity to ask a question and have it genuinely answered with thought and care, is a joy I truly cherish now. To think that people I admire would generously give me their time and a piece of their mind… well, it just really humbles me and motivates me.
I can say without a doubt that this interview is one I’ve anticipated more than any other. Why is that, you ask? Well, it’s a multitude of things. Jacob Van Loon is an artist I’ve admired via tumblr for a while now; I stumbled upon his work organically and have been a fan ever since. Watch the video below and you’ll understand why I’m so enraptured. The infrastructure he builds with pencil and paint is complex and layered, existing somewhere in-between creation and destruction. I’d like to think (maybe hope is the better word) that the universe I draw within could maybe be a neighbor to his own. But enough words from me. Van Loon is the 27-year old sage here and his words are the ones I want to share with you.
The uninhibited imagination of a child is truly a beautiful thing. We all begin our lives with whimsical ideas of how things come about and dreams of what they could be… and then at some point along the way, we learn otherwise. We are educated on common sense, science, physics, and so on, telling us what things are possible and logical – and what things aren’t. Thankfully, like Mica Angela Hendricks, we may be fortunate enough to produce offspring who will show us the way back to our former worlds of wonder.
Read this. Long story short, every parent gets backed into a corner at some point or another, when their child uses their own rules against them. But when Hendricks, an illustrator by trade, was forced to relinquished her sketchbook to her daughter, the results turned out to be sort of magical.
Getting myself mentally and emotionally prepared for making work is as important as actually making the work. The first step always is and always will be finding inspiration in the talent of others. Thankfully, Pinterest and Tumblr make it easier than ever to find new artists to be jealous of. One such artist is Bridget Davies.
While it doesn’t fall in line with exactly what I do, it has that wonderful balance of whimsy and elegance that I am always so drawn to. Her lines are fluid yet thoughtfully articulated, almost like a great outfit that looks effortlessly fabulous.
I’ve been a fan of Bethany Collins‘ chalkboard and erasure drawings ever since I saw her installation at Boom City, a pop-up art event and installation by Atlanta’s own Dashboard Co-Op. Her vast arrangement of tiny marks is quite similar to my own practice, both in gesture and meaning. She writes:
I am interested in the unnerving possibility of multiple meanings, dual perceptions, and limitlessness in the seemingly binary. Drawing objects repeatedly allows me to fully understand the object in space, while defining and redefining my own racial landscape.
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.
Oof. Without Photoshop, it’s really hard for me to edit pictures of drawings without messing up colors and line work. So please just assume these look more delicate in person than they seem here.
Oh well, you get the gist at least! These are two patterns I’ve been messing with; shapes and lines just pour out without thought. To get these bits and pieces out is like a momentary cleanse.
Seemingly random, perhaps they represent thoughts or memories needing to be sorted out and categorized for me to make sense of them. I can’t really say definitively, but I do feel like they’re somehow weird little manifestations of internal currents – I guess really, all art is that.