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December 7, 2015

Open & Closed Mode with John Cleese

Recently I started a new sketchbook with a new sketchbook philosophy. Here's the idea: time in the sketchbook should be pure unadulterated fun. Michael Jordan couldn't get in the zone if he had to the ref the game at the same time.

John Cleese of Monty Python speaks heavily on this topic in this talk.

When you go to be creative there are two distinct modes, the open mode and the closed mode.

In the open mode the only rule is that you have fun. You enjoy it. You're not trying to make judgements on whether what you are making is good or bad.

Then go into the closed mode, the execution mode. This is where you edit and make judgements.

I suggest you play more in the open mode in your sketchbook. This doodle (above) is an example of experiments in the open mode.

You might just have more success and surprise yourself!

Happy open doodling everyone!


December 6, 2015

Memories in Moleskine

Images from Stephan Hohenthanner’s blog seem more like memories than sketches to me. He makes a habit of sketching the mundane with close attention to all its little details, but the way he captures it on the page is moody and atmospheric. Stephan is an illustrator in Hamburg, so I’m going to assume these are real places in Germany. I’ve never been to Germany, so it’s strange for me to admit that his illustrated scenes make me feel a nostalgic sense of comfort from streets and homes I’m not familiar with at all.

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December 4, 2015

Olle Eksell was a Master Doodler

I think if you know anything about the legendary Swedish Mid-Century designer Olle Eksell, it's probably regarding his 'ÖGON CACAO' design (the poster with those tasty looking eyes) BUT I'm guessing many people do not know that Eksell was such a brilliant doodler!

I've been a fan of Eksell's work for quite some time but I recently came across this doodle page of characters and I was astonished by a) how ridiculously fantastic they were and b) how similar my NOD characters resembled them! Great find and I can’t stop coming back to this page. My favorite is definitely the little puff ball in the bottom row middle column. I'm naming him Buff Bagginswell. Which is your favorite?

 

P.S. I wish my name was as cool as Olle Eksell!


December 2, 2015

December's Guest Contributor:
Andy J. Miller

Andy J. Miller considers himself "a commercial artist who likes to draw invisible things," but we consider him much, much more than that. Andy's illustration work has been a long-time inspiration of ours and lately he's been inspiring us with his words too.

Last October Andy launched a podcast called Creative Pep Talk, where he aims to help freelance illustrators make money making awesome work. It's full of insight and strategy and we've just learned it's been selected as an Editor's Choice by iTunes!

His artwork is fun and weird and made of playful shapes full of color and awesome textures. Lately he's been doing some really killer work for clients such as Nickelodeon, Nutella, and Oreo, but you're more likely to be familiar with him for his side projects like, the Daily Drawing Project and his traveling collaborative exhibition with Andrew Nayer.

It's my pleasure to introduce Andy as our guest contributor for the month of December. He'll be blogging alongside our usual team and highlighting artists, insights and other visual finds that are sure to peak your interest.


November 29, 2015

The Element of Chaos in Watercolor

painting gif

I first found Agnes Cecile when I came across a sped up video of her creating a painting from start to finish. The first two minutes show her crafting a detailed, realistic portrait of a lady, but my interest wasn’t piqued until she brought her perfected woman down to the floor and started to splash a halo of watercolors over her. There’s a disorder to Agnes Cecile’s works that makes them exciting. Her portraits have a tendency to look half finished, elaborately detailed in some spots and a drippy mess in others. Her process videos show how much of her art is left up to chance. She paints her vision with absolute confidence, but the element of chaos is always there.

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November 28, 2015

Seeing Through a Doodler's Eyes with POV Sketches

pov sketch

Artists who sketch on location always catch my interest. I love the spontaneous nature of pulling out a pen and paper wherever you are to capture an instance. Paul Heaston makes a habit of drawing every visual detail in his surroundings until his page is full. He sketches his entire field of view, including his own hands and sketchbook. By drawing exactly what he sees, the wide angle perspectives of places around Denver really make me feel like I’m looking at Heaston’s city through his own eyes. If you like his POV style, you will also enjoy one of our entries from last year about The Sketchbook as a Center Point.

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November 18, 2015

Malisa Suchanya’s Black and White Pencil Portraits

graphite portrait

My small obsession this week is Malisa Suchanya's series of graphite portraits. Its cast of lovely ladies is diverse and expressive... plus, there's a handful of familiar faces in there. Suchanya says that she remains a lover for traditional art in a technological age, and her artwork proves it. When I first found her portraits, I had a hard time tearing my eyes away from all the immense graphite detail woven into the perfect textures for skin, hair, clothes, etc. She pays meticulously close attention to fine details, creating a super cool contrast between realistic faces and their more stylized surroundings. She sometimes posts progress photos on her Tumblr, so make sure to check that out too!

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