Huh?

I have absolutely no idea what this drawing means. The image popped into my head, I had a black pen (Pigma Micron 05) and a red pen (felt tip), my sketchbook, and some time to kill in a café before a business call. The beauty about drawing random images that pop into your head is that since they’re so random and relatively unexplainable, you can’t really judge the drawing against scales of “right” or “wrong”, “good” or “bad”; you’ve simply just did a drawing that can only be described as “creative”, and you’ve succeeded in smashing the blankness of a page into oblivion.

An Observation on Sketchbooks…

Art is very high-tech nowadays. Terms like “Mac” and “Adobe” are probably the first thoughts that pop up after hearing titles like “designer” and “illustrator”. Before tech ruled the art world (this was actually not very long ago), artists of all disciplines had to master both the art and craft of their practices. As a production artist who makes a living doing the craft for designers and illustrators whom focus solely on the art alone, I often long for the days when artists of all stripes pined for sketchbooks, illustration boards, kolinsky sable brushes, pigment, and most of all, cherished a trip to the art supply store instead of the Apple store. Yes, tech has allowed us to go above and beyond so many limitations of traditional art supplies, but it was, and still is, a fact that pens, pencils, and paper provide a better initial landing pad for creative impulses emerging from the mind of an artist than keyboards, screens, and Wacom tablets.

I pondered the above thought after reading the below bolded line in a description of this one illustrator. It stood out because sketchbooks stand out nowadays like sore thumbs in a shiny and pricey world of computers,tablets, and apps. Ten years ago, this wasn’t the case, and artists were quick and proud to show off their books instead of their files. It’s the reason that the illustrator here does awesome work that is not only great to look at, but also stands out wonderfully nowadays in a seemingly endless sea of vector lines, digital gradients, and every other filter-generated visual effect:

Jess Douglas is currently based in Lyme Regis, but grew up on party island Ibiza. Jess mainly creates drawings from life, with a splash of personal style thrown into the mix. This is a person who I imagine carries a sketchbook around all over the place, ever improving. Probably as a direct result of this, cars, buildings and people make up the majority of Jess’ portfolio. It is like a mini-document of urban culture, which is fascinating to me. I wonder why the illustrator chose to draw this particular building over another for example. There seems to be something interesting about every subject chosen and that comes through to us, the viewer.

More Sketches from Pub Crawling

Here’s the final installment of sketches from our epic 40/40 pub crawl in Washington, DC. The spread on top covers the train ride to neighborhood where the evening’s pubs were, followed by sketches from the train ride home (notice the dates atop the pages!). The following drawing was done on the way back from our final pub (Brasserie Beck). Unlike the other nights when we came back on the train, this night we got a car ride from a friend. Not willing to loose an evening sketch, I drew one of our cohorts in the front seat, whom blurted out the great phrase scrawled onto the sketch.

Sketches from a Pub Crawl

Catching up on posting pages from my sketchbooks; these were drawn during our epic 40-40 pub crawl in Washington, DC. This particular evening covered the upscale, yet amiable Eastern Market neighborhood. The first drawing was done in the Metro system prior to the evening’s revelry, and the following two were done on the Metro after exploring six excellent bars (notice the change in drawing style!).