For me, visiting breweries is never complete without sketchnoting new beers. On a recent vacation to the Outer Banks beaches of North Carolina, I visit the Outer Banks Brewing Station, where I took sketchnotes on two new beers, including one the best beers I’ve ever had. While the Lemongrass Wheat Ale was a unique and enjoyable take on wheat beers, it was the Brewer’s Reserve Lucky 7 Sour Blend that completely rocked my beer-drinking world. As an aficionado of tart and sour ales, this one-off cask ale was creamy and silky-smooth, and vinous with a perfectly-balanced sweet and sour complexity that transitioned wonderfully from nose to palette to finish. It was the kind of beer that I could see being rated 100 by Beer Advocate, and in realizing that I was enjoying this extremely limited and obscure beer, I drank only one glass to fully embrace and remember the experience, allowing my sketchnotes record it for prosperity.
Building on my previous post, where I decided to grasp at the few random creative influences available to me as a work-from-home freelancer, I’ve coined a phrase for this approach: “Spark & Go!” What this means is that with limited exposure to real-world creative influences on a daily basis, any immediate inspiration, no matter how seemingly profound or insignificant, becomes fair game for creative exploration.
Working with this theme, I did this drawing of homeless person, whom I spotted amongst the crowds outside of baseball stadium. Amongst the dynamic hustle and bustle of the fans, she stood lost and statuesque; her muted and soiled clothing her weathered masonry, and her possessions her only shelter, a far cry from the homes that we fans would return to after the game. She caught my eye for just a moment, but her presence was enough to make an impression that, as an illustrator, I simply wanted to draw through my own personal interpretation. Her possessions were what sparked my thinking, the notion that those bags were the closest semblance she had to a home.
So what to do when in a creative rut? Well, you can wait for grand and elaborate inspirations to conveniently come your way, or simply hit on the first spark presented to you, and go with it. That’s what I did here, which allowed me an opportunity to fill up a sketchbook page, and to explore color, character, and a few new stylistic approaches.