Awhile ago we posted a very interesting piece of work on our Facebook Fan Pagethat stimulated a lot of talk about sketching and doodling. The piece itselfwas done by an artist we have featured in this month’s issue, an artist with avery unique and interesting style - Andrea Joseph. Her drawing of two conversesneakers amongst a million doodles and sketches evoked in us a feeling oflonging for the good old days, when digital drawing was but a distant dream. Itreminded us that even in this day and age, creating something with your ownbare hands without the help of technology truly is gratifying.
Andso the “sketch and doodle” issue was born! This month we have collected anamazing array of work by artists who still use pen and paper (okay, so maybeit’s not always a pen they use, but you get the drift). There are sketches anddoodles of all sorts, with themes from life drawing to the completely abstract.The artists we have chosen to interview all have their own little twist on howthey create their masterpieces and we think you’ll be very impressed with theirefforts.
Arecurring tool we’ve seen used by many people whose work we’ve showcased inthis issue seems to be the Moleskine notebook, something we simply had to findout more about. If you’ve ever bought one of the legendary Moleskines you willhave received a little history pamphlet with it that is rather inspirational.To quickly summarise, Moleskine is the celebrated notebook used by Europeanartists and thinkers for the past two centuries, from Van Gough to Picasso,from Ernest Hemingway to Bruce Chatwin. A simpleblack rectangle with rounded corners, an elastic page-holder, and an internalexpandable pocket: a nameless object with a spare perfection all its own,produced for over a century by a small French bookbinder that supplied thestationery shops of Paris, where the artistic and literary avant-gardes of the world browsedand bought them. A trusted and handy travel companion, the notebook heldinvaluable sketches, notes, stories, and ideas that would one day become famouspaintings or the pages of beloved books. In the mid-1980s, these notebooksbecame increasingly scarce, and then vanished entirely. In his book TheSonglines Chatwin tells the story of the little black notebook: in 1986,the manufacturer, a small family-owned company in the French city of Tours,went out of business. "Le vrai moleskine n'est plus," are thelapidary words he puts into the mouth of the owner of the stationery shop inthe Rue de l'Ancienne Comédie, where he usually purchasedhis notebooks. Chatwin set about buying up all the notebooks that he could findbefore his departure for Australia, but there were still not enough. In 1997, asmall Milanese publisher brought the legendary notebook back to life, andselected this name with a literary pedigree to revive an extraordinarytradition. Following in Chatwin's footsteps, Moleskine notebooks have resumedtheir travels, providing an indispensable complement to the new and portabletechnology of today. Capturing reality in movement, glimpsing and recordingdetails, inscribing the unique nature of experience on paper: Moleskinenotebook is a battery that stores ideas and feelings, releasing its energy overtime.
Not long ago, something called the MoleskineExchange began. It’s a project where several artists, each with their ownMoleskine notebook, draw something on two facing pages of their book. They thensend their book onto the next artist (a predetermined list is established inadvance) and receive a book from another artist. They draw something on twofacing pages and send the book onwards. This process is repeated until theartist receives his/her original Moleskine notebook. Talk about inspiration andhistory in the making! Many Moleskine Exchange programs are being conducted asI write this note and I urge you to begin your own, or join one. We’re thinkingabout starting a b* creative Moleskine exchange very soon.
Soto sum up – this month is all about natural! It’s about loosening your wristsand letting your imagination flow. It’s about not worrying if the lines arecorrect and if the colours match. It’s about putting pen to paper even if yourconcentrating on something else (my personal favourite time to doodle is whenI’m talking on the phone). You’ll notice our illustrator Robin Va’auli reallywent out of his way this month, not only to sketch our cover, but to draw eachone of us. How awesome!
Sountil next time dear friends and readers don’t forget to: Imagine. Believe.Create. Achieve.