“A sketchbook is like a valve, a pressure release system,” the German designer Daniel Kluge tells Richard Brereton, the author of Sketchbooks: The Hidden Art of Designers, Illustrators & Creatives. “Instead of weighing things up in my head, I give them a place in my sketchbook. Sketches are like embryos, and as soon as they have been realized, they are born and start to live.”
It’s an eloquent way to describe the act of filling a sketchbook with unfettered ideas. But it isn’t a universal description. While some artists and designers hold dear to every single sketch, shopping list, and piece of ephemera that finds its way into a book, others ruthlessly cull their work, preserving only those “embryos” that stand a chance of coming to term. It’s these differences in process that make Sketchbooks, a new offering from Laurence King Publishing, so intriguing. Accompanying a selection of the images snatched from their books, written pieces by the artists go into detail about the how they use their own sketchbooks to observe and document the world around them.
Despite all the variations in theme, style, and technique, all of the examples shown here constitute the visual daydreams that happen when the pressure valve releases and imagination is given free rein. For their owners, they can be important reference points in their creative development, which can be later sources of inspiration for future projects. For us, they’re a rare, intimate glimpse into how artists produce work that they don’t expect to be seen.
Buy Sketchbooks for $14 here.
[All images courtesy Laurence King]