Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sketchbook Extravaganza

I want to tell you guys about the art of Sketchbooking and what it means to different people. A great book that could inform oneself of what others are thinking when they sketch is a book called: An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory. 
This book is a phenomenal resource to see how different artists are affected by their own sketchbooks. For some of them they mention the different processes of what they do in their books, inspirations, how they use it and even what it means to them.

There was one entry that I read that was talking about how their sketchbook was a place of therapy for them. They felt as though without their books they were no one. They were naked and barren. There are even entries of what specific books the artists buy. Some prefer cheap-o paper where as other like the feel of a thicker paper. They mention that with cheaper paper quality, their mind makes them feel more at ease and care-free about making a finished sketch. Personally, I found this to be quite true. Because when you do have more expensive paper, you feel as though you are obligated to make a good finished sketch on that piece of paper.

Think of it this way, the cheap paper is like going on a casual date, where as the expensive paper is more of going out to a fancy restaurant and investing more time. The use of certain materials is also another factor that they point out. I can recall from one entry there was an artist that said they prefer sketching on cheap paper and using a ball point pen. If you think about those materials, they are extremely cheap and are so easy to find. It also reinforces even more the idea of being care-free.

Not only do the artists tell you about the materials and what types of sketchbooks they buy, but something else that you find in the book is that there are a few artists that actually make their books. They get into bookbinding and figuring out what type of paper they are most happy with. Sometimes according to them the paper that store sketchbooks provide are just unsatisfactory for the artists, so they compose their own books and buy the paper that they want to use.

Even after all of the great advice that you can take from them, you also get the opportunity to check out pictures of their own personal sketchbooks. There are a wide variety of techniques that no matter what type of artist you are you will find someone that appeals to you.

I personally highly recommend this book if you are specifically an illustrator, but if you are any artist join in the fun.

So many great things to learn so little time!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thinking with Type

This book is about a little thing called typography. I first became aware of this book when I was still at my back at my community college (SIC represent!), it was my textbook for my typography I class. Mr. Webb, wanted us to buy this book and learn what it means to know about type.

Also, how rude of me to not introduce you to what typography even means.
Typography is the study of well letters: how they function, are used, made, etc.

During that class, it seemed very strange to think of type as a way to show art. I, just like everyone else that grew up in Southern Illinois, had only had the interaction with type whenever I would read and write. Little did I know that those letters I had taken for granted would later jump me levels further into becoming an artist.

Now, anytime that I have a project that involves type and I'm over-thinking or having too much trouble with it, I always go to this book. It reminds me of when to keep it simple and when to go outside of the box. Typography expert or beginner, this book should be in every artist's hands, especially if you enjoy design.