Inspiration: Sketchbooks


Being left to my own devices without much distraction lately, I rediscovered the joy of drawing and sketching. Most of this urge came about after moderating a workshop led by Frane Lessac & Javier Zabala last week for AFCC – where I re-learned about monoprints, paint mixing (Javier carries pigment powder and various bases to create his own watercolor/gouache/acrylics) and a demonstration of how he creates his illustrations.

So just like my previous post on Moving Drawings, this time I’m going to take you on a short discovery through some of the sketchbooks that caught my eye online, starting with one of my favorites: Mogu Takahashi. I met with her again while I was in Tokyo last year and it’s hard not to be inspired by Mogu-chan – she’s one of the most hard-working artists I know, and she’s simply a powerhouse of ideas and joy. Just take a peek into her sketchbooks and you’ll be able to see what I mean (and oh, did I tell you? She makes videos of them. VIDEOS!) Watch and you’ll immediately want to pick up your sketchbook to paint:

I also bought a new sketchbook by Kunst & Papier through This is Ocean (they’re the only one that has reasonable international shipping rates!) via the recommendation of Leah Goren. I love her work, and have been reading her blog for whenever I feel a little overwhelmed with things – somehow looking at her sketchbooks make me feel a lot calmer. I can’t quite explain it – maybe it’s the colors, or maybe because it’s the breeziness in the way her illustrations are, that makes it really accessible.





Reading her posts made me realize that she also contributes to Books By It’s Cover (it was relaunched not too long ago!) which has a fabulous collection of sketchbook features. One of my favorites is by Alison Worman (pictured below, taken from the BBIC site). I just love how her collages and mix of medias create different worlds within her books! She majored in Fibre & Book Arts and her sketchbooks inspires me to not be afraid to mix it up a little.





So there you have it – my little round-up of what’s inspiring me this week! What have you been inspired by lately?

[Images 1 – 5 by Leah Goren, images 6 – 9 by Alison Worman via Book By It’s Cover, YouTube videos by Mogu Takahashi]

10 Replies to “Inspiration: Sketchbooks”

  1. Cotey Bucket says:

    These are great Amy,

    I love the eclectic mix you’ve got here.
    Those videos were sweet (I loved the music) and in a way they reminded me of the post you did about not having to be a traditionally “good” artist to tell a wonderful story.
    Also loving on the new look 😀

    I’m inspired by so much stuff but right now I have to keep watching this guys process vids over and over…

  2. My friend just emailed me this – this is so beautiful! I love filling up sketch books and drawing all the things! But mine would be much less prettier to film.. long pages of scrawled and often incoherent ramblings, then lots of coffee cups and boobs. Ha!

    I am inspired by lots of things. All of the time:

    Lily Mae

  3. Sarah says:

    Other artists sketchbooks are always so inspiring – makes me go to mine immediately! They’re great to go through, even years later, to refresh ideas and inspire yourself!

  4. Michelle Ho says:

    Must. Resume. Sketching.

  5. Ellen says:

    Oooh, I love me some good old fashioned sketchbook post!
    And your new look is delicious, Amy!
    Very very well done!

    1. amy says:

      Thank you so much Ellen! x

  6. Dana says:

    I love sketchbooks because the images and techniques are so spontaneous. They can be far more interesting than even the most meticulously executed “masterpieces.” I enjoy seeing artwork infused with the personality and experiences of the creator.

  7. Merissa says:

    Gosh! I really do want to paint and sew onto a clean and simple designed sketchbook by Kunst & Papier after watching Mogu Takahashi’s videos. And Leah Goren’s work is beautiful! Love this post!!

  8. Anna Denise says:

    Aahhhhhhh I am dying here, this is SO amazing. So so so awesome!!!

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