Home » An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers [5/100]

An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers [5/100]

Book-4-Illustrated-journeyYes, it’s another book with an incredibly long title. But, I’m SO glad I stumbled across this gem. Art and travel wrapped up in a way I never really thought about before, but now am so eager to try! I’m headed to Mexico in a few weeks and I can’t wait to experience travel differently by drawing it!

A few quotes:

  • I wonder, does the act of keeping a journal inspire one to make his life more interesting? Does an interesting life lead to a journal, or does a journal lead to an interesting life? I find that I’m more conscious of living in the moment with my journals—knowing that the books are precious to me and hopefully outlive me—more so than any other art I make.
  • How or why the eye and the mind’s eye choose something to draw is often hard to explain, but carrying a sketchbook gets one used to making the choice and transposing it onto paper. As with all drawing, the chosen subject then becomes more personal to the artist: a relationship is created in those moments. John Berger, in his essay “Steps Towards a Small Theory of the Visible,” describes this relationship as a collaboration and suggests that the subject calls the artist, who has no choice but to follow. So drawings that are made during travel have meaning beyond the tourist experience,
  • I want to depict things that mean a lot to me, and sometimes journeys don’t evoke the feelings I am looking for. And I don’t travel on the lookout for beauty. I look for real images, real emotions. So a journey to the Toscana just to draw terra-cotta paths seems like a waste of time. These images have been made a hundred times over.
  • When I draw in my sketchbook, I seek to both live in the present and preserve the moment for the future. I know the value of enjoying every moment as it passes, but I also recognize the importance of good memories. Drawing slows me down. It allows me to live in the moment. It provides me with confidence. In drawing, I’ve found my voice.
  • I think I get a deeper understanding for a place and its inhabitants because I take the time to sit still and watch it for a while.
  • I travel to understand the world and my role in it.
  • e.e. Cummings, “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.”
  • If you snapped a photo and moved on, well, it’s just a photo, but with a sketch you have become part of the place.
  • Le Corbusier, really sums it up for me: When one travels and works with visual things—architecture, painting or sculpture—one uses one’s eyes and draws, so as to fix deep down in one’s experience what is seen. Once the impression has been recorded by the pencil, it stays for good, entered, registered, inscribed. The camera is a tool for idlers, who use a machine to do their seeing for them. To draw oneself, to trace the lines, handle the volumes, organize the surface … all this means first to look, and then to observe and finally perhaps to discover … and it is then that inspiration may come.
  • All you need to do is to put on your “everything is new and interesting” glasses…
  • When I thumb through an old journal, I am instantly inundated with memories so fresh and alive that they feel like they just occurred. I have discovered that most of the worthwhile experiences in life are far too important not to draw….

Now, I didn’t pull the quotes out above to disrespect photography. I’m a photographer. I want to think about the relationship between the two art forms and travel and how they each move me, how they affect my experience and the memories of the experience.