Readers of this blog already know that my work is included in Danny Gregory's new visual journaling book, "An Illustrated Journey," which showcases travel journals. (I wrote about the book when it was released.) I'm thrilled to be included.
I'd never done a video chat before and I was still recovering from the winter "crud," but I got through the entire interview with only one mild cough! You get to see me talk about my favorite supplies and my "Bat-utility belt" (as in Batman) of a fanny pack.
I hope it will encourage you to go out your door today and sketch what catches your interest.
Also, I have finished reading the new book (I hadn't seen it when we did the chat, and then when I did get the book I savored it, reading a few entries a day). I believe it's a marvelous gift to be able to peek into the sketchbooks and journals of others. We get to see what caught the artist's attention, how his eye focused and edited. We learn something about the artist, but we also learn something about the world. And all of that learning we can take back into our own lives so that we can look again at our world with a fresh eye.
A book like this also allows us to hold the sketches in our hands and look them over at our leisure. The book contains many artists whose work I've only been able to see online and I love being able to peer at it away from my desk, to turn pages, as I would if I had the journal.
I grew up as a third culture kid. I write in my interview in the book that the gift of that experience is that I am always an explorer, "I feel like an alien from another planet who is just trying to get her bearings by scrutinizing what everyone else is doing and processing it internally."
It's a joyous experience because every moment there are little epiphanies—or even more fun, little moments of discovery which send you off to do research. That discovery always been my real "job"—but I also think of it as the greatest game going (not to be confused with The Great Game). And anyone who picks up a pen or pencil can play.
I hope Danny's new book encourages you to do just that whether you're traveling half way around the world or just ducking out to the local grocery store for a quart of ice cream. Maybe there's a park on the route. And if there's a park, there's a pigeon. We can learn a lot from pigeons too.
Of course you can elect to sketch the people in the park. Be sure to listen as you sketch. What are people talking about? What matters to them? How are they talking? What are the patterns of their speech? Even if they speak a language unknown to you their body language and the inflection of their voices will tell you volumes. There's endless stuff to find out, you just have to look. And be present.