Last week I was thinking about the differences between creating art and recording life. They are not opposing ideas and there are overlaps, but there is a difference in the intention.
Here are a few thoughts I had:
- If your goal is to create art you will be looking for an occasion to ‘do a sketch’ making sure that the scene is inspiring and that you have appropriate time to complete it. Of course in the process you will be recording part of your life, but the motivation is to create a beautiful image.
- If your goal is recording your life then you will look for any opportunity to record events or thoughts in a variety of ways – quick sketch, more planned sketches, notes, collage, info-graphics, diagrams etc. You might create a beautiful piece of art in the process but that wasn’t ‘the driver!’
My goal at the moment is more the second option – especially as I am hustling a bit! And you will see that last week I made a couple of quick pages to record events that were certainly not great pieces of ‘art’. When I have a little more time than the first option becomes my desire. And when I am travelling the two are merged together seamlessly.
The opening image shows two sketches of local streetscapes. The first done in a few minutes before rushing to the gym (I was in a limited parking zone so couldn’t take any more than a few minutes) and the second on Good Friday morning when I gave myself the time to do a sketch of the view from my cafe table. Whilst it wasn’t a long or carefully planned sketch, I was very conscious that I was ‘doing a sketch’ as opposed the first one that was more of a ‘sketchnote’. There isn’t much difference in the end result between the two but there was in my intention at the start.
Am I spliting hairs by making this distinction? I am not sure… but it has helped me prioritse how I am going to use my sketchbook in the next little while until things settle down. By thinking that my goal is simply “recording life” I am more likely to take risks and attempt something (anything) in my sketchbook – so it’s a win-win situation.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this topic – do you think there is any difference between creating art and recording life? If so, which is more important to you?
Anyway, here are my pages….
My collection of morning lattes Mon-Thurs. I enjoyed sketching them overlapping in a smaller area.
Quick sketch of the view from my carpark and finding a cardi that I thought was lost!
This is an example of recording my life – a big admin day. It is a random series of diagrams and a little collage with things discovered during the day. In my filing I came across a topo map of Quinag an amazing Scottish hill and couldn’t throw it out, so it ended up in my sketchbook.
How many people have different teacups for different projects? Well I do! So drinking out of this cup signifies the fact I am working on Edges. Wrote about the Palladio sketch here.
Good Friday morning coffee and street scene sketch. I hope to write a little more about this sketch later this week.
My hot cross bun which I discussed here and recording some thoughts about my work this week. Another coffee at my local cafe as I worked all day Saturday and every work day my routine is to start with a morning cafe visit.
On Saturday evening I was reading about Palladio and just had to do a quick loose sketch of Basilica Palladiana so I could record a great quote I read. A few other notes from the day as well. I always have ideas buzzing in my head (obscured until I get a chance to formulate them!)
And so ends another week….