December 14th, 2014

all about sketchbooks: an interview

People often ask me about my drawing, how I draw, what kind of sketchbooks I keep. I get a lot of illustration students sending me questionnaires and I don't usually have time to answer them. But I thought I'd do this one as a blog post, since I often post drawing here but much less often talk about what goes into making the pictures. So read on, if you're curious! These come from a student on the MA in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge school of art named Mark Nicholas.

How often do you use your sketchbook?

I go through stacks and stacks of cheap Seawhite of Brighton sketchbooks every year, maybe 20 or 30. Often I don't use a sketchbook, I just grab some computer paper out of the printer. I go through a big pack of computer paper every couple months. I try to do one fun drawing every morning, but then I do lots of other work-related sketches during the day, depending on what I'm working on. If I'm doing a school or festival event, I'll probably be drawing on a flip chart, not in a sketchbook. On some of my trips, I've kept comics travel journals in these sketchbooks, A5 size. If you want a peek at them, here's one from Alaska, and one from China.

Actually, some of the Alaska sketchbook images have inspired things in both Oliver and the Seawigs and the book I'm working on right now. I mostly drew these first in pencil, then in Pentel brush pen and Faber Castell Pitt pens.

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