About three weeks ago, a fellow professor approached me and demonstrated several sketchbook pages from a student who was taking notes with little doodles. He gave a painting demo and the student was illustrating individual paint tubes, labeling them with the recommended colors, and sketching out any other suggested materials. Several days later, during an in-class lecture, I noticed another student using small iconic exemplifications of the material I was discussing.
I never fully believed in such things as talent. Many see it as some sort of ‘gift’, or special natural ability to do things without much effort. But many are not aware of the history of hard work most artists carry behind their art. Creativity and great conceptual thinking are not the result of having talent. They are the result of all the artist’s studies and pieces of their visual library in their head forming new images and ideas.
I still remember when I was introduced to Conceptart as a student and started devoting countless hours to the sketchbook threads, desperately trying to measure up to the most prestigious drawers around the world. I felt like I was part of an isolated underground club in which battles were fought on paper, using your drawing skills and creativity as a weapon. As the popularity of the site grew, so did my love and dedication to sketchbooks. [illustration above by Guy Parkhomenko]
The roughly-hewn, outsider quality to Craig Atkinson’s doodles and collages bely a skillful and careful technique: his portraits of celebrities such as Thom Yorke and Allan Ginsberg are instantly recognizable, and his sense of design and composition reflect a trained eye.
I really really dig the busy, fragmented paintings of Jason Jagel. It’s full of colourful stencil-like shapes and free form doodles and it’s all crammed together into the claustrophobic quarters of his paper like an oversized sketchbook come to life.