I create whimsical and inspirational collages. I live in beautiful B.C. Canada with my partner Mr. G (aptly named for his tolerance of glitter) in a purple magic cottage. The cottage sports a huge papier mache dragonfly drenched in glitter!
My first book “Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash your inner Eccentric” is all about Visual Journaling. My passion is to teach others to embrace who they are through the vehicle of their creativity. I do this mainly through classes on Visual Journaling (among other mixed media projects), in online classes and my blog. My home, glittery van and art have been featured on numerous TV shows including Weird Homes.
Why do you keep a sketchbook and how often do you work in it?
I have been keeping sketchbooks ever since I was a child (young teen). When I was in grade three drawing Twiggy and noticed I received attention from the other kids I realized that I had found my calling. Later as a teen I was able to take art classes in school and keeping a sketchbook was part of the curriculum. I am less organized now. Not only do I work in a sketchbook but I also work on loose papers that I store in a drawer or in a box. My art journal pages are kept in a box with a lid – having loose pages makes it easier for me to show my art to workshop participants PLUS when I work on a loose piece of card stock I don't freak out if I mess it up. I draw every couple of days – but even on a daily basis I doodle while watching TV or when I'm on the phone.....this is usually done on loose paper. If I like what i've created they end up in my “originals” drawer and later find life in an art journal page or illustration for my blog. I like to keep a sketchbook/papers to document my ideas before I lose them in the ethers. I sketch most often to flesh out ideas for my art journal pages, jewelry ideas, a purse I want to create etc. I've been blogging for over 6 years now and having to put something up on my blog 5 days a week fuels my creativity so I sketch out ideas to illustrate a point.
Do you work in just one at a time or do you have several going at once?
I work on a few at a time....and of course on multiple pieces of paper. I also have lined exercise books which have collaged covers where I doodle and document my ideas. In my purse I carry a small book to doodle ideas in. When out and about and I've forgotten to bring my tiny books with me I draw on my hand or write down ideas which I can flesh out later. Lately I've been carrying recipe size pieces of cardstock with me and have used those. A few years ago I created a coil-bound book called The Idea Factory where I created a space for the drawing and some lined spots to document the idea on. This video outlines the process.
What's your preferred format (sketchbook size, type of paper, single sheet,spiral bound etc?) and preferred medium for using in your sketchbook? watercolor, pen, pencil, crayon, collage etc?
I used to use a black coil-bound book – starting out with a 9” x 12” size and then moving to a smaller square format and then even to a teeny tiny coil-bound book. Although – right now I like loose pages of card stock which I can either keep in my box with the lid or I can bull-clip it together with an embellished cover. Occasionally I use watercolor paper but mostly just use cheap card stock you can buy at the Office Supply store. My favourite tools are pencil, and definitely my Micron pens.......I use them all the time! Also to add some colour I enjoy watercolour pencil crayons and twinkling H2O's. For my art journal pages I like using collage items. The backgrounds for my pages are usually painted with acrylic paints and fluid acrylics.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to keep a sketchbook but doesn't know how to begin?
Anything else you'd like to add?
Whether or not you choose to share your sketchbook with others is totally up to you. If you are self-conscious about it then simply keep it private. If you're like me and like to share your process and innermost thoughts then feel free to share with others. There are no rules here! You are uniquely you and whatever feels right for you is ALL GOOD!
Visit Violette's website here to see more of her work.
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Get all the details on the Sketchbook Challenge here.