Tuesday, 21 June 2011

An Illustrated Life

Sometime during 2008 I found myself unable to put pen to paper. So stuck in my rut I turned to the last resort and began Googling 'sketchbooks', in the hope that I might find some inspiration lying in and amongst the pages of some random person’s personal drawings. Having sifted through the piles of flowery doodles and sonic the hedgehog traces I found myself on YouTube, being guided through some of the most beautiful sketchbooks I had seen yet. 

The artist they belonged too was Danny Gregory a managing director of a major New York ad agency who began keeping illustrated journals in his mid-thirties. As it turns out, he too was looking to see inside the sketchbooks of others, describing them as his "... favourite art form... the closest one can get to being inside the artist's head, to feeling raw creativity flow." However, unable to find a book matching anything near his expectations he decided he had better put it together himself. 

And so 'An Illustrated Life' was created. This is a book crammed full of the private sketchbooks of fifty artists, illustrators and designers. There is without doubt something for everyone. The contents of the book span from doodles to full blown works of art. Collage, pen and ink, digital sketching, experimentation and contemporary illustration all feature within. Reportage features most heavily, the author himself draws solely from life, and every creative featured is so different that it makes each new page refreshing and exiting.  I have found it incredibly difficult to open a random page and not find something really beautiful. Or to find someone's words of inspiration and insight into the process of creating and filling the books which we all pour our hearts into. The book includes warts and all, the risks and lessons learned, mistakes and smudges are all included. This results in becoming rather a personal book and much more than a coffee table accessory.

Danny Gregory: http://dannygregory.com/

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