Thursday, December 2, 2010

Drawing for Drawing's Sake

I have always been facinated with the 'interior lives' of Artists and the processes by which it contributes to their 'Art.'  Danny Gregory's book, "An Illustrated Life," gives us a unique glimpse into Creativity and the creative process through the personal sketchbooks and illustrated journals of Visual Artists, Illustrators and Designers.

This book is 'eye-candy' for the visual connoisseur. It includes more than three dozen hardcore sketchbook fanatics, including comicbook illustrator Robert Crumb.

According to Gregory, "the approach is a varied as the lives the pages record. Some journal keepers are methodical... Others are wildly improvisational... " "A sketchbook is a great, nonthreatening place to begin to draw.  It is also an ideal place to develop ideas, experiment and break away from restrictions imposed by our increasingly digital workspace."

Before I studied how to make Films, I first learned Photography... My love of photography was initially sparked by my childhood doodling and facination with creating images.  I believe that all visual artists can benefit from sketching and keeping visual journals, because it cultivates our 'ways of seeing.'  These personal diaries can become mirrors into our deepest creative wells... a treasure chest for our own brand of art. 

Bryce Wymer, Illustrator/Designer Broadcast/Motion Design - "Of all my many works, my visual journals have the strongest purpose and are the truest form of Art. They are the few places where my thoughts are expressed solely for my own expectations, a vehicle for self-exploration..."

Butch Belair, Freelance Photographer/3D Illustrator - "Representing the quality of the light in a scene is something I struggle with... I find myself drawing, just to be drawing, in and of itself. I have no expectations of it other than as a way to unwind and possibly learn."

James Jean, Artist/Illustrator - "My sketchbooks are the antithesis of the other work I produce, that is, they do not have a specific function.  I guess they can be described most accurately as a journal." "Since the drawings are bound, they are more intimate in a way, shielded from view, and viewable only in chronological order."

Kurt Hollomon, Illustrator - "Drawing is my art. It's the bedrock of art. I teach drawing and I practice my drawing; it is my lifetime pursuit.  After all the years I have been drawing, it's just something I have to do. It's that simple."

Mark Fisher, Illustrator/Designer - "They are very important to me because they contain so many ideas and images that I pull inspiration from years later.  Looking back through them is like visiting old friends."

Simonetta Capecchi, Architecture Professor - "I wish I could draw more.  It keeps me alive and focused... I think drawing is my best form of expression." "...consider drawing as a language, like writing, and as a tool to investigate and represent things, both reality and personal invention."

France Belleville, French Teacher - "I have always drawn.  Strangely enough, I don't consider it a way to express myself.  It is something I do and have done for years."

Rick Beerhorst, Artist - "Drawing is a sort of drinking in the sensory world.  It is also grounding because of the quiet concentration.  The stillness is like meditation or study." "Drawing is a mystical activity that makes places holy when and where it is practiced.  It is a sort of prayer."

Leonardo Da Vinci kept a visual journal we now call the "Codex Leicester." Enough said.

--Pages and excerpts taken from "An Illustrated Life" by Danny Gregory, HOW Books, an imprint of F+W Publications, Inc.

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