Last week: Too many coffees, being around people and a little collage

November 23, 2015 | Leave your thoughts


I have decided to start a new regular feature on my blog – sharing my week’s worth of everyday pages in their entirety with a few comments on weekly themes that I see emerging. I’m a  great believer in the benefits of recording your life by sketches and notes in a book – not only do you create a special narrative of everyday life but it also motivates you to sketch regularly. The story of your life then has an added bonus of documenting your creative journey and development.

Anyway, the idea behind these posts is to give you a glimpse into what I do each week and how I use my sketchbook to experiment/record the stuff that happens and the ideas I am developing. I also want to share with you how I like to mix up the composition of the various spreads in my book.

So this week my three big thoughts are:

1. Coffee
My Walk to Work:Walk Home routine has been going great! I haven’t sketched much in the evening walks but in the mornings I have started making a local cafe my destination. Sitting down for a coffee and having 30 minutes to plan my day/week/current project has been great. Not only is it getting me focused on improving my quick sketching of coffee art/froth, but I am really benefitting from having this planning time AND being around other workers. It is really setting me up for a good morning of work. I am very self motivated but the buzz from being around people and the planning time (without my computer distracting me) is great!

2. People
So with this realisation of how good it is to be around people. I am back to sketching people on a regular basis after a big break. I am finding that:

  • I am making my old mistakes,
  • cafe people move a lot more than iphone people on the train,
  • I am best to use the pen I feel most comfortable with,
  • the splint I am currently wearing is making it more challenging as I don’t have the control that I would like for the subtle but important curvature changes in facial features.

But my major challenge is accepting these ‘learning sketches’ in my sketchbook and making them into pages that I like. Please note: I was tempted to use the term ‘bad sketches’ instead of ‘learning sketches’ but that is a totally unhelpful term. I am making mistakes but I am learning all the time and every mistake puts me closer to my goal!

3. Collage
The desire to have a play with some more collage could very well be the result of flicking through the pages of my Remains of the Day Journal from a very cool online class I did in 2010. It is completely wild but was lots of fun to make and also to look through. The ‘purists’ that read my blog might be horrified that I have ‘destroyed’ my sketchbook by sticking down paper and then sketching over the top, but there is no doubt that it is liberating and a lot of fun to do this. And it is creating a lovely casual, lived-in feeling to my sketchbook…and I am LOVING that!  I particularly like travel sketchbooks with tickets and stuff mixed in with the sketches but I normally come home with a envelope full of bits that I wish I’d stuck into my book. So this current fad is trying to come up with some more strategies for that.

Other comments:

  • Super excited to finally get Andrea’s Joseph’s beautiful book. Completely blown away by it but completely perplexed as to how I missed getting it ages ago when she released it!
  • Cricket references are completely random facts that I add for a bit of fun. I enjoy having it on the background (one of the advantages of working at home) but I am not a die hard fan.
  • I am very focused on establishing some strategies from my ‘work life’ at the moment (notice the term ‘work life’ not ‘work vs life’!) and am happy for you to read some of my hand written thoughts that I am recording in my sketchbook – I hope to formalise these into blog posts down the track. I have days when I try to do too much and others when I worry that I didn’t do enough. My current boss is pretty tough!
  • We had communion at church this weekend, so a few more church services and a quieter weekend focusing on the truly important things in life and eternity.

But in summary it was just a normal week and I am loving my connection with this current sketchbook in its random collage way.

I would love to hear from you whether you like collage in your sketchbook – would you like to do it more often… or is your sketchbook just for sketches?

Ok… here are the pages in order….


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