Sketchbook Related Links
Highly recommended for class use.The Journey Is the Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon ISBN-10: 0811815862 and Dan Eldon: The Art of LifeISBN-? Photography and collages fill Dan Eldon’s journals, which he produced while growing up in Africa. At just 22, Dan was murdered with three fellow journalists while on assignment in Mogadishu. His work is emotionally charged as he tries to make sense of the unending war and chaos. His journals also have a soft touch as he breaks away from the horrors of war to examine Africa’s natural beauty.
http://www.daneldon.org/about/art-of-life.html Preview clip of a documentary about Dan Eldon
Highly recommended for class use. Spilling Open Published by Villard, 2000. ISBN-10: 0375756485 or ISBN-13: 978-0375756481 Sabrina Ward Harrison examines her life as a young woman through her visual journal. Easily found in bookstores, often in the “self help” section for some reason. Her other publications can be found here: http://sabrinawardharrison.com/books/
Highly recommended for class use: Dust Covers Published by DC comics ISBN 1563893878. Collections of work widely available in book stores. Other volumes can be found in comic book or specialty art book stores. Truly mixed media, Dave McKean explores materials unlike any other artist. Very inspiring and always a hit with my students.
Highly recommended for class use. God Made Dirt and Dirt Don’t Hurt published by Ginko Press, 2002. ISBN: 1-58423-154-8. Collects work of Korean born artist David Chong Lee as he explores hip-hop and urban culture in the U.S. Combines mixed media collage sketchbook work with superbly executed paintings of the homeless.
Some publications may be too graphic for sensitive students (nudity). Very inspiring sketchbooks document life in Africa spanning +40 years. Focus is often on women and fashion but creates context for images through collage. List of publications: www.peterbeard.com/publications.htm
Four young artists keep a journal as they travel Iraq and the Middle East, beginning in 2002. Collaborations with local artists lead to an intimate portrait of culture misrepresented in Western media. OffScreen: Four Young Artists in the Middle East Booth-Clibborn Editions, 2004
Great sketchbook examples, especially to demonstrate various forms a journal can take. Also good examples of thematic explorations. List of publications: http://www.lkperrella.com/cgi-bin/itsmy/go.exe?page=5&domain=1&webdir=lkperrella/
Called the “Father of Mail Art.” He’s the most amazing pop artist you’ve never heard of, an equal to Warhol but minus the fame. His art was created for using mixed media collage techniques and sent out in the mail. Great to inspire sketchbook work or to branch out into mail art of artist trading cards. List of publications: http://www.rayjohnsonestate.com/books.php
Documentary about Ray Johnson (available for rent at most video stores)
Illustrator who works on old book covers and dust covers.
Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy BookA fictional diary/scrapbook spanning the life of a Turn of the Century era girl who hunts fairies. Available in all book stores either in humour or art sections. Great for classroom use! Turner Publishing, 1994. ISBN 1-57036-062-6
Dear New Girl or Whatever Your Name IsArt book inspired by the notes confiscated in class by a Los Angeles substitute teacher between 1992-2002. Collaborative project by several artists. The book also includes the original notes which in some cases have been reworked by various artists.
Inspiring book for students. Zines. Published by Booth-Clibborn, 2001. ISBN 1-86154-224-0. Covers many different styles and techniques. Focus is on the art of the ‘zine, but this is equally applicable to sketchbooks. Available in most bookstores in the art or design section.
Huge site! Hundreds of artists upload their sketchbooks here. Fantastic resource for the widest possible range of styles and techniques.
International Society of Altered Book Artists. Creative ideas for reusing old books.
Highly recommended for class use. Author and artist behind such works as the Griffin and Sabine series.
Highly recommended for class use. As an experiment, 1000 blank journals were distributed randomly around the world. The books contained simple instructions for who ever found them: contribute what ever you want and then pass it on to someone else. The project was the brainchild of an anonymous San Francisco graphic designer (a.k.a. “Someguy“) and selections were published in The 1000 Journals Project, by Chronicle Books, 2007. ISBN-10: 0-8118-5856-1 Available at most bookstores, though the website is a bit more interesting as it contains vastly more pages.
The project continues at http://www.1001journals.com where students could become involved.
The 1000 Journals Project could act as inspiration for a school wide or district wide journal/sketchbook experiment. This could also be extended to schools from neighbouring districts, other provinces or even other countries. Shipping journals may be cost prohibitive so I would recommend a “mail art” style approach. This involves single pages being sent as postcards, then collected.
Good examples on this page of one of my favourite artists, fellow Vancouverite Marc Bell. I recommend his 2004 book The Stacks published by Drawn and Quarterly. His work has a whimsical cartoon feel to it, combined with intricate details and layering. He also incorporates many random materials and connects them all by drawing on to, and in to, them. I especially like his work using old found photographs.
Found Magazine Available everywhere, a sketchbook-like collection of found items submitted from readers. Several back issues have been collected in a soft cover book available at most book stores.
- The Art and Craft of Collage
by Simon Larbalestier. Chronicle Books, 1995. Highly recommended for teachers looking to start a sketchbook program. I found this in a used book store, it’s really good! Great information on techniques for manipulating paper, binding, using materials like adhesives and varnishes, colour application, elements of design, building 3D sketchbooks, mark making, printmaking, photography, etc.
This book also features an examination of collage/sketchbooks throughout art history. Examples include work by Victorians, Dadaists, Surrealists, Futurists, Cubists, Pop Artists, among others. Cross cultural work is explored, though this book tends to emphasize Western art. Few examples of African, Native, Asian, South American, etc.
Official website of Canadian War Memorial Fund which features journals of Canadian soldiers during war time. Direct link is: http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/diary
Canadians who have kept sketchbooks as a way of documenting wars include:
A.Y. Jackson, Frederick Varley: Members of the Group of Seven, commissioned to keep an artistic record of trench warfare, WWI.
Charles Comfor and Alex Colville: Official “war artists” for Canada, WWII.
Molly Lamb Brobak: Canada’s first female soldier artist who’s sketchbooks depicted the daily lives of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps and later the front lines of combat, WWII.
They Drew Fire: Combat Artists of WWII, a PBS documentary and book about combat artists using sketchbooks and other forms of artistic self expression to document combat life. Site also includes examples of art and visual journals of WWII U.S. soldiers: http://www.pbs.org/theydrewfire/gallery/index.html/
They Drew Fire: Combat Artists of WWII by TV Books, 2000. ISBN-10: 1575000857, ISBN-13: 978-1575000855.
Canadian news paper the National Post sent their graphics editor Richard Johnson to Afghanistan in 2007. He was assigned to keep a sketchbook and blog about combat life for Canadian soldiers deployed in the region.
- Postal Séance: A Scientific Investigation Into the Possibility of a Postlife Postal Existence
by Henrick Drescher. Published by Chronicle Books, 2004. Highly recommended for class use. The author creates wild postcards, personalized to whoever he is trying to correspond with, and then mails them out. But his subjects are all long dead, and the addresses made up. However he does include a real return address, and some post cards end up all over the earth and manipulated before coming home! Those who do not return at published as they were before being sent out. They are also seen as “proof” that it is possible to communicate with the dead through the mail (the letter wasn’t returned, so it must have reached it’s target!). Those that returned are published as failing to find their targets, but show all the evidence of their travels. Great for examples of mixed media collage, but also for expressive portraits of others.
- British Columbia Teachers’ Federation
- Gay and Lesbian Educators of British Columbia
- British Columbia Art Teachers’ Association
- Media Awareness Network
- British Columbia Federation of Labour
- The Council of Canadians
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Magazines, Newspapers I’m Reading
- The Tyee
- The Republic
- Sunday Magazine
- The Courier
- The Georgia Straight
- X-Tra West (select “Vancouver”)
- Fire This Time
- Columbia Journal