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July 31, 2015

Doodling with a purpose: How to create art that speaks

Those lines you just left on paper – are those really just doodles?

Could it be more than just meandering lines that you've mindlessly put together? Mindless not in the way it was created, but mindless in the way how easily our minds shifts from one thought to the next, perplexing, changing, evolving and never the same. Mindless in weight, in troubles and in spirit? A line that solidifies our constant state of flux, by being there – a constant. A reminder. A mark left in time that captures the essence of what makes drawing such a personal affair.

What happens beyond the meandering? At what point does a drawing become art? Or is every doodle a work of art in itself? I'd like to think it’s more the latter, but at the same time, sometimes not all doodles are made equal – sometimes it's nothing more than it is. And yet some are more than they truly show. An image, a still, captured in time. A thought. A fleeting emotion. Raw. Keep reading...

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July 24, 2015

Scrapbook Meets Sketchbook

I went to eat at a friend's swanky restaurant recently, and he stopped me when he noticed I started my meal without touching the lemon wedge on the rim of the plate. He explained that the lemon is an important finishing touch to the flavor, and the chef leaves the wedge there so that you can feel included in the preparation of your food. I thought of this just now, as I was looking at Mall Licudine's illustrations. There's a sense of purpose in the way she photographs her finished works with the tools she used clearly visible in the periphery. I found myself examining the clutter of her workspace and looking back to the drawing to figure out where she used what in the picture. This gave me a surprisingly clear mental image of the artist at work and the steps she took to construct specific pieces, almost making me feel as if I was there during the creation. It's an unusual experience that doesn’t happen for me often! 

Her sketchbook drawings have dates incorporated into the art, which makes me wonder if this is a form of journal. Typography in the illustrations is often inspirational or emotional in subject, which suggests something therapeutic for the artist. There’s also a nostalgic aspect which comes from using snips of patterned washi tape to add elements of collage into the sketches. A scrapbook made of sketches instead of photos? You can follow Mall Licudine's instagram or tumblr to see more.

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July 13, 2015

Laura Janey Hodkin: Girls in Her Sketchbook

Laura Hodkins and I were two of the twenty-three artists involved the latest Big Scribble project. We drew in the rooms of our dream house, which were then all mashed up with the other artists to build 12 dream house coloring pages. Upon finding more of her work online, I feel that Laura's style is the work of a real, impulsive doodler who can't help but fill up her sketchbook with doodles, random thoughts, and stray lines that may or may not eventually lead to a fleshed-out drawing. I like drawings like these: they aren’t quite happy, they aren't quite sad or scary, but they’re not just emotionless. They're on the verge of being something, and maybe that’s what makes them feel realistic and relatable.

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July 2, 2015

Layers of Doodles

The sketchbook of Stuart Adams is a wild ride. He draws in layers, which makes each page take a while to soak in while my eyes constantly find new visual details hidden underneath the doodled characters. Some of his backgrounds are unexpected textures, photographs, or a chaotic melange of colors which gives a certain depth to otherwise silly-looking doodles. My favorite thing Adams does is use white space to draw characters within the background, and then doodle more characters over those in black. The end product is crowded, messy, and full of spontaneous spirit. I see where Adams was coming from when he said, “The best way to describe my artwork is that it is like taking a mystery tour bus where Disney Land fuses into a Heironymous Bosch painting.”

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July 1, 2015

Kimmo Oja: Lots and Lots of Lines

I know what it's like to get lost in a repetitive action, that smoothing feeling of doing the same small motion over and over. When I look at these drawings by Kimmo Oja, I wonder if he chooses his imagery based on achieving that same feeling. The result is a dizzying amount of precise lines and strokes to create striking environments. But within each of these drawings, there is one peaceful object that stands alone and unaffected by the tangled setting: a bear, a line of trees, an owl, a wolf.

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June 29, 2015

Javier Perez: Drawing Inspiration

I was recently asked to participate in a drawing contest hosted by Udemy. The theme is based around the work of Javier Perez, who creates clever drawings built upon simple objects around him.

For my own drawing, I dug through my desk drawer at work and saw a fish peering back at me from a roll of correction tape.

While I’m not sure I was too true to the minimal nature of the drawn element of this creation, I did find the process and result very rewarding! This contest was a fun exercise in challenging my regular technique by inserting something foreign, and figuring out a way to incorporate it and fit into my drawing style.

You can enter the contest, too! Click here to see the details and more examples of Javier’s work, and have fun seeing objects around you in a different way!


June 28, 2015

More Illustrated Travel Journals: Анастасия Кардашова

This weekend, I experimented with a set of Prismacolor markers I received as a gift several months ago. My experience inspired me to look for more work in the same vein, and in my search I discovered the diverse portfolio of Анастасия Кардашова. I encourage you to scroll through her Instagram for examples of all kind of different imagery, mediums, and styles.

But for this post, I want to focus on the illustrated travel journal she created from a trip to Venice. I’m now able to relate to the process of working with markers, and I’m fascinated by how the colors are applied in these sketches. The irreversible strokes of markers made me very cautious about where to place my own strokes, afraid that I would make them too wide, too saturated, etc. Анастасия employs a style of layering vertical strokes to create a really interesting and effective way to apply color without just solidly filling an entire space. I also like her selective choice of white space. When viewing this journal I feel like Анастасия is telling me about her trip, and as she proceeds with the descriptions, the color creeps in. Not every moment of the trip is explained in detail, and therefore suggested in the negative spaces.

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