The importance of carrying a sketchbook

Illustrator Jack Fletcher on the importance of using a sketchbook:

“My creative process is hella eclectic,” says Jack. “It jumps from digital to pen and paper to screen-printing, at times. It is kind of whatever I feel works with what i’m doing at the time. The one constant thing for me is carrying round a sketchbook. Muji till I die. Thats where I try to record all of my ideas and work through them before finally transferring them to a sheet of paper or a Photoshop document. It allows me to get most of my terrible drawings out of the way before I start on something big. Though, that being said, a lot of the terrible drawings I do become my favourites when I revisit them later. My sketchbook is therefore double important to my creative process as it allows me to keep track of all my creations.”

via It’s Nice That

See also: Austin Kleon: A good place to have bad ideas


Animator Phil Tippett’s idea scrapbooks

In The Creative Brain (Netflix) Animator Phil Tippett shows the ideas scrapbooks he curates that he can then revisit when he needs inspiration:

These are a series of books I put together … This was a thing I came up with to just, kinda, break what I was thinking.

I would just randomly cut out these pictures and just glue them into this book and then [when you flick through them] you’ll see like a feeling, or you’ll feel something, that’s like: I got it! I totally got it!

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Bach never ceased being a student of his art

From The New Yorker:

Bach immersed himself in music at an early age, as had generations of Bachs before him. An obituary prepared by Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel speaks of his father’s “unheard-of zeal in studying.” That claim is buttressed by a discovery made a decade ago, of the teen-aged Bach’s precociously precise copies of organ pieces by Reincken and Buxtehude. His life was destined to unfold in a constricted area. The towns and cities where he spent his career—Arnstadt, Mühlhausen, Weimar, Cöthen, and Leipzig—can be seen in a few hours’ driving around central and eastern Germany. But his lifelong habit of studying and copying scores allowed him to roam the Europe of the mind. In his later years, he copied everything from a Renaissance mass by Palestrina to the up-to-date Italianate lyricism of Pergolesi. Bach became an absolute master of his art by never ceasing to be a student of it.


We need to unlearn not being creative

Author, Ben Okri:

Creativity is our normal and fundamental way of being. It is everything else – our education, our social conditioning, our cultural mores, our upbringing – that imprisons our creativity. If you don’t believe me, watch a child at play. To them all things are possible because they have not learned that some things are impossible. We don’t need to learn to be creative. We need to unlearn not being creative.

via The Guardian

Where creativity comes from

Tom Dixon, designer:

It’s putting yourself into unfamiliar worlds that does it, looking at something from a naive perspective. I’m lucky enough to travel a lot. I go to the local museums and like being exposed to the worlds of sculpture or cooking, or music – anything that is not my core area of design.

Richard Quinn, fashion designer:

I like to try to find something that’s not on the internet. I go around lots of old bookshops. There are amazing charity shops in Walthamstow, east London that sell rare, limited editions. I like finding odd, obscure objects, so odd that when you type their name into the internet nothing comes up.

Camille Walala, artist:

I always carry a sketchbook with me, a pencil, some tape, a file with different-coloured paper, and things to collage with. Most of my work is based around graphic elements and colours, and I fill my sketchbooks with patterns and designs that I often refer back to. I love going for a coffee in that hour: I’ll spread out on the table, usually outside; or it might be when I’m travelling, when there is more freedom to be playful.

Tamara Rojo, artistic director, English National Ballet:

I love going to see other art forms, especially theatre, and I’m an obsessive reader, not just of books but everything – magazines, newspapers, Twitter. I also love listening to the radio.

Faye Toogood, designer:

For me, being in nature and in particular the British landscape, with no distraction, is my main source of inspiration. Also, I have three young children, so at the moment I find their naivety and wide-eyed view on the world refreshing and unexpected.

‘Don’t be afraid to make mistakes’: 11 ways to be more creative via The Guardian

Robert Macfarlane on his preference for physical notebooks

Author Robert Macfarlane on his preference for physical notebooks over digital notes:

People sometimes ask me why I don’t use a phone to take notes when I’m ‘out’ in the field. The answer is that phones smash, while notebooks bend. I also like the way that notebooks record where they’ve been not just in terms of what’s written in them, but also in terms of the wear they bear as objects.

On the types of notebooks he uses:

The notebooks vary from a tiny lilac-coloured Moleskine just seven or eight centimetres high, to robust hardback journals, tough enough to withstand being dragged through limestone tunnel systems and soaked in slate mines.

One of the advantages of carrying around a physical notebook is the ability to tuck found objects into the pages or the envelope sometimes found at the back:

I also tend to tuck things into the pages of my notebooks, which flutter out later and surprise me. When I was in East Greenland, camping for weeks by the calving face of a huge glacier called the Knud Rasmussen, I picked up three ptarmigan feathers, and two iridescent ‘books’ of mica, and put them into the back of the two notebooks I filled up in that time. Two years later, I opened the notebooks again – and there was the mica, glittering away, and there were the feathers, as if fallen straight from the bird, pulling my memory instantly back to the cold, off-planet atmosphere of the glacier.

via Penguin Books from an original post by Austin Kleon