The Sketchtravel is a unique international charity art project. This red sketchbook was passed from one artist's hand to another like an Olympic torch in an artistic relay through 12 countries over 4 and half years. The culmination was a one time auction for this one of a kind book which happened on October 17 of this year. The money raised from this unique project will be supporting Room to Read's South East Asia programs: The charity collaborates with local communities and governments to establish libraries, encourage development of local language, culturally-relevant children's books, and foster literacy in other ways.
This is one of those once in a lifetime that projects that come into your life. I am still in awe of the amazing array of talent and creativity that fills this book from cover to cover. So many of my favorite artists are included in this project as well as new favorites that I discovered because of this book.
When the red sketchbook was hand delivered to me by the amazing Dice Tsutsumi it was about half full. Even at this stage you could see the power and magnitude of this book. I spent three days just looking at each piece wondering what I could possibly create that will honor this project in an adequate way. I finally had to put the book away so I could clear my head of all the intimidation and overwhelming sense of responsibility. Eventually after a week or so I stopped over thinking it and just decided to express my experience of creating for this book and include myself into it. I loved the running theme of the red sketchbook in the pieces and wanted to include that in mine as well. The next step was to make it and so I started cutting and pasting until I had something that I was feeling good about.
Looking at the completed book now it is even more amazing and powerful then I could have ever imagined. Big thanks to Dice Tsutsumi and Gerald Guerlais for having the creativity and determination to see a project of this magnitude from beginning to end. Not only did it raise a lot of money to help build libraries and schools but it has produced a book that will inspire and excite people for many years to come. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of The Sketchtravel. I am eternally grateful to you.
Below is a very condensed and simplified version of my process for this illustration.
This is how I began this illustration. I am so inspired by shapes and color and love to build the foundations for my pieces with purely abstract compositions.
Once I began to lay in the foundation for the entire spread I starting building up the image of myself holding scissors and the red sketchbook. I knew I wanted this to be the pop-up but before I solved the engineering I needed to figure out the details and shapes of the character.
After the base layer I start layering varieties of papers to slowly start finding the images I want to reveal. This is where I can push and pull the values and colors until I capture the mood and feeling I am trying to achieve as well as allow the visuals and information to reveal itself. This is my favorite stage because it is controlled but also allows for some fun discoveries and surprises.
Once I got both the pop-up and basic spread beginning to feel good, I starting working on them simultaneously so I could integrate the colors and shapes together.
Then after a few days of noodling and playing with paper it all comes together and becomes the vision you had in your head when you started. They don't always work out just right but in this case I was fortunate enough to capture the image in my head through this illustration.
If you are interested in owning a copy of this book you can find both a basic and deluxe version on Amazon France. There is talk of potentially getting a domestic publisher to pick it up but I am not sure anything is confirmed yet.
Labels: Sketch Travel Project