I’m very fortunate to have not one, but two creative parents. When it came to school projects, sports day, birthday parties, Christmas concerts and Halloween, I felt we had the upper hand. Despite their hectic schedules, mom and dad always had time to help us with our science and art projects, or plan and make the perfect Halloween costume.
As a kid, part of the thrill of a homemade costume was the process; seeing a burlap sack and some Jiffy markers turn into an Indian costume; watching my dad “cast” my brothers arm when he and my older brother dressed up as Patient and Doctor; hanging out in my dad’s shop as he attached a wooden Pirate’s hook (that he cut by hand) to a Glenfiddich Whiskey tube.
As an adult, I reflect upon Halloween with very fond memories. Today most costumes are bought on eBay or at Old Navy for $29.99, with little thought and no creativity. This weekend when I pull out my sewing machine and glue gun to put the final touches on our Halloween costumes, I’m hoping to show my daughter the value of family traditions and the importance of doing it yourself.
Ever since “Art” college I’ve carried around some form of sketchbook, and I’ve always held onto a romantic stereotype of the artist’s sketchbook. I’ll never forget purchasing that first sketchbook before my first year drawing class. Our semester long assignment was to lurk around back alleys downtown and draw whatever we found (interesting on so many levels). Whenever I pick up supplies, I always get side-tracked looking at the variety of notebooks available, and I usually get at least one sketchbook for Christmas or birthdays every year. I’ve even taken a stab at book-binding and made my own books and journals. I know lots of graphic designers stick to the same brand and size format all the time (consistency is the key to strong branding!), but I just can’t pass up the opportunity to try out something different every time. I’m infatuated by the endless possibilities a new sketchbook presents (and I like flipping through friends and other designer‘s sketchbooks).
Unfortunately, my habit of filling pages has dropped off considerably and it has been a long time in-between starting a fresh book. I used to religiously carry my sketchbook around Vancouver, jotting down notes, whipping off quick drawings, cobbling together layouts, and taping in clippings and photos. There’s always a sense of accomplishment when all the pages are filled and I can crack open a fresh blank book. However, most of our “professional” 10four concept sketches, research and layouts for graphic design studio projects are done on loose, letter size pages and stuffed into numbered docket envelopes. Now my sketchbooks are mostly for personal projects (which are few and far between), or taking notes during client meetings (which are not few and far between). Even less now that I carry my iPhone everywhere and just snap off photos whenever I want a reference or need to remember something. Maybe if I get my hands on a very expensive calligraphy pen (or dig out the rapidographs) it will reboot my sketchbook output.