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.
Consequently, I kept remembering a quote from the book Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland: ‘The difference between art and craft lies not in the tools you hold in your hands, but in the mental set that guides them. For the artisan, craft is an end in itself. For you, the artist, craft is the vehicle for expressing your vision. Craft is the visible edge of art.’
Several days ago, as I found myself piercing though the clustered isles of Wal Mart, I noticed a customer’s grocery shopping list that was made out of little doodles. Drawings of vegetables, fruits, drinks, it went on and on.
Observing the visual nature of our mind just never ceases to amaze, regardless of our profession or general understanding of the art field. We urge to draw since the days we crawl out of our crib, so why do we forget it?
Next year, I will have a very small solo show showcasing my sketchbook work here in Richmond, VA and it is my goal to bring back those childhood desires amongst everyday people to start expressing themselves through images as they once did many years ago.
To motivate the viewers, I will have pages of my sketchbooks, framed, accompanied by small journal entries, and a written proposal upon entering the gallery to create a series of 5-10 sketchbook drawings accompanied by writing, which, if chosen, will be exhibited in the next part of the exhibition.
The viewers will have the opportunity to not only show off some of their drawings, but to also write about their experience doing visual journaling, which will be a very interesting social experiment to observe once the many individual persona are portrayed on the walls.