This month we have the very talented illustration student Josie Maskell showing us her sketchbooks.
Before we start, tell us a little about yourself/how did you get into art/craft/design career and how it all started and where you are now
I am an Illustration student in my final year at Plymouth University. I have always been creative but I really got started when I went to art foundation at Trowbridge college where we got to try a huge range of media and experiment with all kinds of work before I had to decide what degree courses to apply for. Choosing to do a foundation course is the best thing I ever did, I tried so many new things and it really helped me to choose a pathway to follow
How long have you been using sketchbooks?
I started using sketchbooks in school as a way of tracking my work and showing research and development. When I started university we were encouraged to take a sketchbook with us everywhere to do drawings of anything and everything as drawing practise underpins all of the work that we do. I have gone from using A2 sketchbooks in art foundation and have shrunk down to A4 ones for uni projects and a tiny A6 one I always have in my handbag.
How often do you sketch?
I try to sketch as often as I can, in my first two years of uni we had modules that required “drawing out” so going out purely to draw a certain place or subject. This year I find less time to go but over the summer I worked in America and spent my breaks drawing. I also try and take trips to museums and galleries to draw people and objects as I find this really inspires me to start other work.
How do you feel about the prospect of starting a new sketchbook?
I enjoy starting new sketchbooks, especially when I have an idea for the sketchbook already or somewhere to go to do drawings for it. Over Christmas I have been doing “the sketchbook project” which gets sent to America for people to view, I was a bit more nervous about starting that one because I know so many more people will see it! If you want to find a bit more out about the Sketchbook Project you can find out what it's all about here.
When/where do you get your inspiration for your sketchbook pages?
I either draw from life, or I make up strange imagery and patterns from looking at different artwork and objects and taking out the elements that I like.
How would you describe your creative process?
I do most of my initial drawing in black linework before either re-drawing over and over to develop, or just scanning in drawings I like to be coloured and edited on Photoshop. I use different techniques filling areas with colour, occasionally adding texture and editing colour palettes.
Have your sketchbooks evolved over the years and if so, how?
My sketchbooks used to contain all my research and artwork I had edited, printed out and stuck in. I now use pinterest to collect artwork and inspiration and just fill my sketchbooks with thumbnails, idea generating sketches, and lots and lots of drawings before I get the right one to scan in.
What is your favourite medium to work with?
I almost always draw in black line using fountain pen or fineliners, I recently bought some rotring technical fineliners and I am quite in love with them, definitely worth the money if you look after them
Do you have a favourite sketchbook?
I went to London at the start of this year just to draw and I took a tiny sketchbook to fill with drawings. I drew so many things, and I tried to make them as strange as possible whilst also writing the occasional comment on what I was doing. (write notes about your drawings if you find something amusing, its always fun to look back at!) This is my favourite sketchbook so far, followed closely by my American sketchbook because of all the memories!
If you had to pick one favourite page which would it be and why? Right now it is one of the London sketchbook pages. I drew 3 very strange characters inspired by an abstract painting in the TATE. I was then sat watching a very strange film about apartheid where a girl said “I wonder how wishes are made” I wrote this above the drawing just because it seemed to fit as one of them was crying. Not sure why but I just like it the strangeness of it!
Thanks for taking part in sketchbook peeks Josie and showing us your pages! If you would like to find out a bit more about Josie you can read about what she is up to on her blog here and follow her on Twitter here.