Journal voyeurism strikes back with beautiful spreads from a sketchbook Michael Giles used as an example for an art class he was teaching. Michael’s an excellent artist and funny dude whose thoughts and work you can see online here and here. Below are his words and images. Don’t forget to check out the journal gallery and keep sending me your stuff.
Off and on I’ve kept a sketchbook. I kept one for several years during undergrad and I always felt that it was a central aspect of my art-making. For some reason, that is still unknown to me, I stopped regularly working in a sketchbook. I still felt it as a compulsion and would regularly purchase new sketchbooks, draw into 5 or so pages and put them aside. I have dozens of unfinished, nearly new books lying everywhere! But for some reason I couldn’t dedicate myself to working in them.
When I began teaching drawing classes I made working in a sketchbook a mandatory part of the course. I explained to the students that it only takes a few minutes each day to work in them and that getting into the practice of everyday drawing was an imperative part of learning to draw. Yeah, I was being completely hypocritical. And the more I tried to explain to my students the value of the sketchbook, the more I sounded like a complete prat. I had no recent, hands on experience with what I wanted them to do. So I did what I had to do the following semester; I kept a sketchbook along with my class.
The images I have included for you are from that sketchbook that I kept with my drawing class. I was trying to inspire them and let them see all the possibilities available to them. I wanted to make my pages and images to combine with one another, to fight one another, to enhance one another, to destroy one another. I wanted dynamism and energy and the kind of honesty that comes when you stop thinking. I chose images that combined the entire expanse of both pages to show you, because I feel that those have a certain quality of completion that I find very interesting upon looking back at these pages for the first time in two years.
I still don’t keep a sketchbook, though there are several blank and nearly blank books sitting just over there….