Sketchbook Creativity

Losing things is about the familiar falling away. Getting lost is about the unfamiliar appearing.

Rebecca Solnit ‘A Field Guide to Getting Lost’ 2005

‘This question of whether something is fact or fiction is a reduction of the bookends with which we live our lives’

Walid Raad Infinity Award 2016

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‘Lost Reflections’ is a body of creative visual work that explores interlinkages and overlaps between the ‘bookends’ of my personal responses to places and events and a more political ‘voice’ and activist approach to social and environmental documentary. Focusing on particular places and times, the projects explore the multiple layers and perspectives of subjective experience  and the creative process of selection and framing  particular aspects of  reality from the continual flow and combination of realities  seen, heard, read and researched.  

Reflecting on creative  interlinkages and overlaps between multi-layered internal and external ‘realities’  is my way of clarifying questions and ways of living in a beautiful but confusing and often distressing world. And inviting the viewer to do the same. It is also my way of becoming more aware of  inevitably subjective perspectives on ‘reality’, discovering new ways of seeing things and expressing emotions so they free me to act.

Sketchbook Diaries:
Everyday Creative Process

I have used sketchbooks a lot throughout my work on the OCA Visual Communications degree. As:

  • a safe space for freeing up, having fun and brainstorming ideas the ‘help me think’
  • as a place to bring together sketches, photographs and notes for specific thematic or location project work
  • as a place to experiment with materials and processes, rapid and frantic sketching that can then be rubbed out or gone over as a record over time, sploshing ink and paint and seeing how they interact, collage that I can then draw and paint over.

I have worked with many different formats from very small folded pieces to A1 size sheets bound with a Bulldog clip between cardboard. With different types of paper, and also altered books.

My work for the past year has been mostly photographic and digital, partly because those were skills I wanted to develop and partly because I did not have access to my art studio because of COVID restrictions. I wanted to use this project to get back to having fun with drawing. But also to get into the discipline of keeping a diary of regular creative responses to my evolving thoughts, changing moods and the world around me. Something I have always intended doing, but not had time for until now because of professional paid work.

This experimental sketchbook ‘Everyday Normals’ aims to provide a ‘safe creative fun space’ for:

  • ranting, raving and following interesting ideas, even if they lead nowhere
  • experimenting with visual effects of different drawing, painting and collage media and styles
  • helping me think through all the multiple moods, thoughts and influences bombarding me everyday to motivate or prevent me from changing everyday habits
  • helping me to get a better sense of how I think ‘new normal’ should look like and start to make the necessary personal changes
  • clarify my subjective ‘voice’ that influences and informs my documentary work on location.

Some of these images, thoughts and ideas will be included in the final project ‘The new normal? 2022’.

Exercise 1.1 Annotated collage of ideas on sketchbooks from the OCA course guide.


Made with Padlet


Made with Padlet



Made with Padlet