Inspiration: Sketchbooks

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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.

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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.

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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]
  illustration, inspiration, sketches, video


10 thoughts on “Inspiration: Sketchbooks

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!!

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