Sketchbooks are a space where you can express yourself! From my experience as an artist and a teacher we can get so worked up about how a sketchbook looks or hating particular work inside that we lose sight of why we have them in the first place.
This post will look at 4 sketchbooks from people who graduated from a graphic design degree. We will see how they use them for recording their life, experimenting with their craft, drawing on location or as a form of therapy.
Jean Jullien: Recording your life
Jean Jullien is a French illustrator living and working in London. His work is very illustrative and due to his innate understanding of design he knows how to make an image communicate and resonate with his audience. While Jean was studying in London he embarked on a personal project where his sketchbooks became a visual record of his life- he still continues this today.
Jean’s sketchbooks during this time were very narrative based. He used everyday events as material to draw upon. He recorded the people he met and the places he visited. Running alongside the images are often humorous and insightful observations. There are ideas for future commissions scrawled in-between pages of lazy days in the park with friends. You could say that Jean feels free to talk about anything in his sketchbook.
Explore more pages from Jean Jullien’s visual diary
Follow Jean Jullien on Instagram
Jeremy Tankard: Experimenting with your craft
Jeremy Tankard studied graphic design and has gone on to be one of Britain’s foremost typographers.
What I find so intriguing about Jeremy is not only the beautiful typefaces he creates but also the volumes of sketchbooks he produces for each project. Tankard’s sketchbooks reinforce the fact that everything made by humans, no matter how small has been ‘designed’. There is a wonderful feeling of experimentation that permeates each page of Jeremy’s sketchbooks.
Ignacia Ruiz: Drawing on location
Ignacia is a Chilean Illustrator living and working in London. She has a very distinctive illustration style that is characterised by an erratic and explosive use of line and a vivid use of colour.
Explore more of Ignacia’s work on her website
My Sketchbooks: A form of therapy
As well as being a teacher I am also an illustrator. A large part of my development happens inside my sketchbooks. As of 2016 I have been making and numbering all of my sketchbooks. As an illustrator my sketchbook becomes a space of defining who I am as an image- maker.
Before you start your sketchbook!
As you can see from the examples above, sketchbooks can be approached and used in a whole variety of ways. The most important thing to remember is that you feel your sketchbook reflects who you are.