Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Sketching Frenzy

As most of my family and friends know (and are probably heartily sick of hearing), I'm applying to do an MA in Children's Book Illustration this year. This, unfortunately, involves me showing my work to people. Pam recently looked at my "sketchbooks", which currently consist of a couple of drawings and a lot of blank pages. She said, very worriedly, "You need to do some more work". The truth is, reader, I am scared of ruining the books. Once I do a drawing in I don't like, I either tear it out, or just never use the book again. But no more! I took a small book to our exhibition and sketched the visitor (!), and yesterday, as I was working at Oxfam, I drew on the train, and the customers as I sat behind the till. The sketches literally took seconds (apart from the one on the train which was a bit longer), and were also done without really looking at the page and while trying not to look as if I was looking at the subject (if that makes sense!) I also jotted down what the people were saying - just for my own amusement really and to fix them in my mind. I actually really enjoyed it and I am going to do more now that I have lost my sketchbook inhibitions.

The French girl on the train did say more, but "oui" was all I understood. I could have made something up and impressed you with my French, but I suppose it was quite unlikely that she would say "I am, you are, he is, she is, we are, you are, they are", or just counted up to twelve.

These are the only sketches that actually showed when I scanned them. My favourite was a man saying "Come on, Sue!", and there was also one of a woman saying "They haven't got much..." (which of course was a barefaced lie), but neither of them showed at all when I scanned them. I have no control over my scanner. Things can come out huge, or the size of a stamp, or not at all. It's a crazy lottery.

I am off to my friend Sandie's house for lunch today. Whenever I see her, I come home with an acute case of house envy, and get the urge to drape muslin creatively at my window and just have one beautiful object on a polished wooden surface. But then I realise I can't be arsed.


nbalike said...
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Valo said...

Que blog más bonito! me gustan tus muñecas. Y el hecho de que tu blog esté en inglés me sirve para practicar y aprender el idioma. Adios! (espero que esté bien traducido)

That blog nicer! I like your dolls. And the fact that your blog is in English it serves me to practise and to learn the language. Bye!

PG said...

I think most of us have had this problem - I used too, a long time ago - but over the years and especially now, I find that it's not the sketching that really matters, it's the getting it down - ideas, a point in the landscape, a person in the street - just being so excited about whateveritis, that all you want to do is bang out the sketches, no matter what they look like; just enjoying getting your inner vision out onto the page and funnily enough, if you do this enough, one day you will look at your work and it will look OK.
Actually, this is all in the head and it always DID look ok, (or better), it's just that we have a tendency to get self conscious about things not turning out quite the way we wanted. And another little thing, is that the more you fill your book, the less you notice the things which you don't like so much - one little drawing is just going to get all of your attention and critique, lots of nice full pages look so much better.
(I've got about 6 main sketchbooks on the go at the moment! But they get worked in nearly every day and they have their fair share of rubbish and not-so-rubbish)

Liza said...

Thanks PG...it's nice to know I am not alone. I think I just need to remember the sketches are just for me and forget the fact I might have to show someone! What you say about full pages is so true. Even if the drawing aren't perfect the enthusiasm comes across. I look forward to the day I have six main sketchbooks on the go!! x