10.03.2012

sketchbooks

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You guys were all so nice when I posted pictures of some of my sketches in a recent post, that I thought I'd give you a more in depth look into my sketchbooks. That, and I have nothing sewing related to show you as I'm waiting on the mail. You know how it goes...

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Drawing in a sketchbook used to seriously stress me out.  I never used to feel like my sketchbooks were private (this is because they weren't, they were always looked at by professors and classmates, critiqued for content, or else I was being told to draw in them more...) My relationship with sketchbooks always felt rather forced. It wasn't until I gave my entire studio practice a rest that I started to realize that my sketchbook didn't have to be for anything. And it could be really really ugly, and that was okay. This was of course the sort of thing I was always told in school, but perhaps it never sank in because of the environment (or my own pride.)

Now my philosophy on sketchbooks are pretty relaxed. Sometimes my grocery list ends up in there. Sometimes my drawings end up in the notebook I use for work. I draw when I feel like it, and I don't even think about it if I don't feel like it. 

I occasionally make technical drawings, or drawings of clothing - sometimes copied from somewhere, sometimes just imagined. Usually if I'm working through a design in my head I'll make a few different sort of drawings, some with measurements or mini pattern pieces. And sometimes I just can't quite see a design clearly in my head and I need to draw it out. This is helpful for me when I'm deciding what pieces I want to make. Something can sound good - you put the right pieces together - but when you actually sketch it out you might see that the shape is all wrong... its like a pre-curser to making a muslin.

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Some of these ideas are still in the running to be made, others have been nixed...Usually when I draw clothing it's more for a purpose than making a nice drawing - like walking through a design. I might make notes or include elements of color or things that might be inspiring me.  But sometimes I just want to draw for the sheer joy of it, and this is usually when I sit still for awhile and do some observational drawing. My husband and I are still drawing each other, and lately it seems all I want to do is draw my plants...

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Do you guys feel like drawing is a useful tool for you in your sewing process? Do you find the prospect of drawing intimidating (I can relate)? Do any of you just draw for the heck of it? 

For the record, it's still hard for me to make a drawing and not judge it as "good" or "bad" - even the technical drawings.  But thats not what it's about.  Just a little reminder to myself...

xx


43 comments:

  1. These are so beautiful, Sallie! I hope you continue to share your sketches. They certainly make me feel like picking up my own pencils and doing more than technical illustrations. I tend to not bother with full illustrations, but I do miss it sometimes. However, I always draw flat sketches before making patterns, to work out the flat pattern kinks in my head first. It saves so much time!

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  2. I really like these, you should really make a point to post more of them.

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  3. Wow Sallie, I am so impressed! You are such a talented lady, not only when it comes to sewing but also drawing. I love peeking into other people's sketchbooks because you always find beautiful, very interesting things, and basically, a completely different perspective on daily life from their point of view. I think this is mostly because there is that feeling of "less pressure" and more freedom in a sketchbook, but I totally know what you mean. I'm a perfectionist so I really had to work at making myself comfortable and believe that it was ok to actually sketch on a sketchbook and not stress over whether each page is perfect or not. Anyway, thank you very much for sharing your sketches. They are very inspiring.

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  4. Your drawings are fantastic! Very impressed.
    I took a life drawing class for 5 weeks. I really enjoyed it, but it was very messy, my hands were always black afterwards but i really enjoyed it and was amazed at how talented the other students were

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  5. I just draw%) Not for sewing, just for fan and enjoying process. Especially I like to draw in trips. I am not so good drawer as you, but if you are interesting you can see some pictures here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/dolsi/

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  6. You're amazing. Like, seriously. You should really submit a design for this pattern contest! I bet yours would be picked :) http://yourstylerocks.com/contest/current.php

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  7. What a fun glimpse of how you see the world. I love it!

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  8. Absolutely beautiful!

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  9. Such beautiful sketchbooks, it's fun seeing how you work through your designs and projects! I had the same feeling in school with my sketchbooks, and I still struggle with the fact that they don't need to be perfect. I am a perpetual page ripper in those suckers which is so bad. Nowadays I rarely draw in a sketchbook, I just figure out what I want in my head and do a technical drawing on the computer.

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  10. It's always interesting to see inside someone's sketchbooks!

    Though I have to laugh a little... I can't even work in a sketchbook anymore after being forced through so many of them in college. Loose paper is fine, and I recently got back into drawing and found it was fun. But there's something about the sheets all bound in together that makes my brain lock up in horror or fear. Or both. Ah, good times.

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  11. Thanks for the peek into your sketches! I definitely draw things I'd like to sew, especially if I see someone wearing something I love and I don't want to forget it. Many times the drawings are barely recognizable to me later! But I am trying to practice, and remember that it's Ok for them to be ugly.

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  12. Your drawings are amazing. You are so talented.

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  13. Ooh i wish i could draw and sketch like that but I'm hopeless. I did a croquis ages ago but have rarely used it because i'm just so bad at drawing it seems pointless. Never mind! Love your husband and plant sketches - keep em coming.

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  14. Always loved your drawings. As a high school art teacher I am listening to what you are all saying about sketchbooks and thinking, thinking how I can alter the perception of intimidation....

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  15. Your sketches are absolutely beautiful. You have enormous artistic talent :)

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  16. these are so amazing. seriously impressed.

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  17. love your sketches! i draw a lot, i like to have a little 'preview' of things i'm about to sew.. i also drew just for the fun of it, designing crazy amount of clothing i may never make, but have to 'create' them in some way..

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  18. Your sketches are amazing! You should take commissions! I can just imagine the Sewists out there who'd love a sketch of them in an outfit they'd made.

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  19. I love your sketches! I always pore through my friend's when I get the chance. My drawing skills are a joke considering my trade.... 3D software really killed whatever skill I had. Bad Heather. I'm less sketchy, more photoshoppy when I need to visualize things like pattern plus fabric combos, but I may revert to some shitty hand sketches if I ever get around to designing stuff lke you do. AND CAN YOU PLEASE MAKE THAT JUMPSUIT????!!!

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  20. Oh I love seeing your pictures... You have a gift for the sketch... I love the one of you in the blue dress - and I agree with Heather Lou! JUMPSUIT!!!!

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  21. Your sketches are great. I wish I could do that. I am always amazed when I see people like you who can sketch a dress they have in mind. I can't at all. What a great talent you have

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  22. If I wasn't such an idiot with software I'd probably turn to it more! I actually got through my digital media class in undergrad by making drawings - don't even ask me how! I think I got a couple points knocked off of my grade because, while my final assignment was impressive, I didn't use any of the software correctly! Woops...
    Aaannndd... I really want to wear jumpsuits - all the time - does that make me lazy?

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  23. yes - that's exactly how I feel about making clothing illustrations - a preview, and also 'creating' things that will probably never get made!

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  24. Those are my favorites too :) Go figure...

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  25. Oh that's a good idea, to draw other people's outfits or clothes that I admire! I've been drawing for a long loooonnnggg time and I still make ugly drawings! But sometimes flipping back through them later helps jog my memory or gives me a little help when the old brain juices run dry...

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  26. I know EXACTLY what you mean! I also experienced sketchbook overload. I usually keep a notebook or two for work where I can make lists and jot down notes at meetings and such and I found that I had started making sketches in them too. So really these books weren't meant to be "sketchbooks" I just only showed the drawings :) I've found that's how I got around that sketchbook fear...

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  27. I sort of wish I knew how to do this stuff on the computer - I like how much cleaner and precise it is.

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  28. Hmm...Maybe I will... Thanks Rochelle!!

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  29. Thank you for sharing your drawings with me! I think the watercolors are particularly nice...

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  30. Life drawing classes are my favorite!!

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  31. Yes, that's totally my experience with sketchbooks, too! But I also love drawing and the "diary" aspect of peeking into other people's sketches.

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  32. Thank you Amy! I agree, making flat sketches of patterns is super helpful. Anytime I go into making something from scratch (especially since I'm totally self-taught, and really still learning) I find it a huge time saver to sketch it out in mini form before I start slashing and spreading and drafting for real!

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  33. Miss Crayola CreepyOctober 4, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    You are SO talented!!!! Sketching well is a skill that I wish I possessed.

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  34. I always enjoy a peek into someone's process. When i was in college i kept two sketchbooks; one for classes and a personal one to do what i wanted. i also had a professor who was constantly bringing in her houseplants for us to draw.... i *still* enjoy drawing houseplants to this day!

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  35. Oh drawing! I'm absolutely terrible. The only thing I can do are to draw stick figures - stick people, stick horses, stick cats. My sister got all of the drawing genes from our grandmother but not me.

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  36. Oh I love having a sneaky peak into artist sketchbooks so thank you! I never thought about how stressful they can become in school. I'm not a drawer but can relate to that with writing. It's like the process of your process is always being critiqued and it can get so self-conscious. I love your inked drawings too. Ya know, nothing beats an artist's hand and their indelible line personality. Illustrator is fun but it takes all that stroke out of it, imho.


    I third or 15th the request for the jumpsuit! Love the drapey pocketsess!

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  37. Thanks for the peak into your books. I love it and wish I could draw. I'm sure I could learn, but there's the whole issue of time and which hobbies I can fit in!

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  38. Sally, this is really impressive! You're sewing abilities always blew me away but this is like a secret or hidden talent you have.


    I relate to every one of your drawing points. I too used to be really strict about my sketchbooks because when I attended SCAD, they were graded. But over the years, I have come to LIKE a messier and uglier sketchbook - I think they're BETTER. I like throwing in my daily to-do lists and notes to myself inside my sketchbook because I like going back to it a year later and reminiscing on what my WHOLE life was like at that point - not just my sewing life.

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  39. I love seeing these! They're so cool! I don't draw anymore (it was something I enjoyed in high school, but haven't done much of since), but I love to see other people's drawings. I do more writing, jotting down ideas in notebooks, and I try to let go of my self-criticism and just get the ideas out before I start to revise them or question whether or not they're worth pursuing. It's tempting to feel like things need to be perfect before you put them on the page, but that sort of stifles the creative process for me.

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  40. Your talent is immense!

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  41. You are truly talented... I love looking at other people's drawings! Yours are quite fabulous! I totally still have a fear of showing my sketchbook to others, as it is so rough and haphazard; like you I use mine for quick sketching plans and ideas,writing lists/notes, and but only rarely do i take a drawing far enough to be what I'd call 'presentable' - yours are just so much more polished, you should be proud to show them off!!! :)


    I totally do that too; draw my figure in clothes I'm thinking of making to give me a more visual sense of whether they're even going to work on me or not! LOL

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  42. These are lovely! wow! I love sketching and illustrating but feel it is difficult for me to let loose and draw freely. My strokes are too hard and calculated. I've gotten better but I'm too afraid of making the wrong stroke! Silly, huh!

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