Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the world is turning

Unbelievably, people sometimes ask how I me how I make my drawings. Here's a little insight. Actually, not so little. Yes, this is the biggest blog post in the worldiverse.

So, as you can see, with this one I started by mapping a little bit of the drawing on the page. Not too much, just somewhere to start, because I like the rest to unfold. I like the drawing to reveal itself to me.
Contrary, to popular belief, I actually am rather inpatient and usually want to jump right in. So already I've started drawing the bits and pieces. For this spread I am treating each card as an idividual drawing. I'm mostly using colour ballpoints and colour pencil. Ah, Bangladesh Airlines. Now that was an interesting airline. And, an interesting flight. It was cheap, though. VERY cheap.
Actually, it was the red and yellow of the Bangladeshi baggage label that first appealed to me when it came to turning this collage into a Moleskine drawing. I love the pop art colours. Ooooooh, British Columbia and Alberta. Probably, still, after all this time, my most favourite place I've been lucky enough to visit.
I know, drawing wise, this kind of subject matter isn't much of a departure for me, but this drawing in itself was certainly challenging. Emotionally speaking, that is. I do believe this was one of the most emotional drawings I've ever created.
Obviously it took quite some time to complete, and it was spending all that time with all these memories. All the places and people I've left behind. All the things I've done. Some joyous and others not always easy to be with.
And there are times and places and people I'd never have remembered if I hadn't made this drawing. Most of these cards and tickets came from a five year period between 1991-96. There was so much I'd forgotten about (probably a selective memory lapse). But still, I think there is something really symbolic, I suppose cathartic about laying all these things down on the paper.
Back to the drawing, and the latest addition - the green Koh Phanghan card showing a map of the island is probably my favourite bit. Not sure why that is, but I do enjoy drawing those little details. I love the handwritten phone number on the card, and the food stains. It's those kind of tiny details, that you might never have noticed, that really float my boat.
By this point of course, there are things that are starting to annoy me. I'm not happy with the addition of the comic strip and that Jasper Taxi card is really starting to get on my nerves. I am happy with the texture on the pink card for SP Resort, though. I did that with pink pencil and ballpoint. I think it works. And again, I love the yellows, which were both done with a yellow ballpoint and finisheded with a yellow pencil.
What the hell and how the hell did I get a card from a Canadian Mountie officer? I was a bit wild back in the day but I don't remember getting arrested! In Canada! By a Mounty! Surely that is something you'd never forget. And ,where on earth is Nyah Village Caravan Park?
After a little Googling I find that Nyah Village caravan park is in fact in Australia. I've never been there so how did I get that card? Who gave it to me? I like these kind of questions, even though they'll probably never be answered.
By this point I really want to finish this drawing but I keep obsessing over what should be the last things to be added, and how should they be placed. The best thing to do at that point, I find, is to just stop thinking and put something down . Anything. When I started this drawing I never imagined that my own little ballpoint card would turn up, it's next to the Vancouver book store card. Do you know that I had four days in Vancouver and on the first evening I went out for a Chinese meal and spent the rest of the stay with violent food poisoning? So basically, I didn't go out of the motel. The motel bathroom to be specific. Of course, there is absolutely no reason why you would know that.
Now I must stress here, I did NOT draw the picture of my mother and father. I am not that good! This photo, though, was the reason for making this drawing. I really wanted it in my Moleskine. Forever.
I deliberated for ages where I should place the photo. It was originally meant to hide the Vancouver book store card, but the Jasper taxi card was annoying me so much it ended hiding that. Unfortunately, it hid some of the pink card but, again, I think there is something symbolic about what is lost from the drawing. I don't know what it is symbolic about it, but no doubt it'll come to me one night when when I've just fallen asleep.
So there we go, that's it. Finished. Finito.

If you've liked this, you might like to order my new zine - the travel Molezine one. This is one of the drawings featured in it. You can buy it HERE for a very small price. You can be guaranteed that a whole lot of time, energy, emotion and love went into it. Thanks.

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OpenID moreidlethoughts said...

And even after you've taken us through it, explaining it...I STILL wonder how the heck you can do this!
You are so talented and so generous.

10:59 PM  
Blogger . said...

Thats amazing, would never think that you are the type who "wants to jump in and do them all at once" I thought for sure this was again a month long project... Im a jump in head first kind of artist (wish I wasnt, and I know so bad how I have to calm down and do one step at a time. Im so glad you did it this way and show it to all of us, very intersting... And as always I love your work. The picture of your parents is lovely.

11:03 PM  
Blogger nanke's stuff said...

I just don't know how you do it - it's totally amazing to me. It's spectacular! nancy

12:34 AM  
Blogger debra morris said...

Great work as always Andrea...thanks for taking us on the journey of its creation.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

Fantastic walk-through! Eventhough you described yourself as an impatient person, it shows in your arts and techniques that you have a great deal of patience. I've seen how people do photorealistic drawings, and those people have unbelievable amount of patience!!
But it's really nice to see how it's done, and it's a good learning experience for a lot of your admirers I am sure(me being one of them fans!)

2:01 AM  
Blogger Sharly said...

i SO wish i was that patient...... amazing :)


4:07 AM  
Anonymous Hel6 said...

Lovely work and lovely walk through!! Your work is gorgeous.

6:40 AM  
Blogger suzie said...

one of my fave things to do is to flick through someone else's sketchbook. Even better is to see their processes and progression, watching the work unfold and evolve. Thank you so much for sharing this, it was very generous of you.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

nice to see the step by step work of yours... You have a great hand with dry colours

1:12 PM  
Blogger Caroline B said...

Thank you for that - I love to see how other people work, it is always fascinating.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Moish said...

thank you for sharing!
after seeing this I'd say you can feel comfortable drawing in public and drawing people.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Stephen Hall said...

Bloody brilliant! BTW Keep hearing Paul Weller on t'radio and who springs into my mind?? Hm?

7:36 PM  
Blogger Kiri said...

thanks for sharing. i always enjoy reading your posts and your drawings are amazing.

10:22 PM  
Blogger rrARTz said...

beautiful as always and i loved all the stories that went with it! thanks so much for sharing.

2:37 PM  
Blogger raena said...

Thank you!! It's wonderful!

7:35 PM  
Blogger Ramona Davidson said...

Wow!!! Good work. Lots of patience and talent.

7:10 PM  
Blogger G. said...

hi andrea. G

8:10 PM  
Blogger Ricky B said...

I like how you create such high quality art with such very simple equipment.

9:42 AM  
Blogger suzanne cabrera said...

You've outdone yourself. I'm completely enchanted.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Pippa said...

Wow. Your talent is immeasurable. I love seeing all of the stages of your drawings. If I hadn't seen the different stages, this would be another one of those 'is it actually a drawing or a collage?' drawings of yours. You often fool me into thinking something is real, especially when you draw paper...

9:07 PM  
Blogger Revelle said...


7:28 PM  
Blogger Johanna said...

This is amazing! Thank you SO much for posting this and showing us how you work. I would still love a "how to-book" on doing ball point drawings like you do. :D

I tried to order your zine, but couldn't reach the correct page on Etsy - is there something wrong with the link?

8:22 PM  
Blogger Cathy Holtom said...

Facinating, thank you for showing.
Brava, brava!

7:34 AM  
Blogger E-J said...

Love the three-dimensionality of this, Andrea ... and the way you incorporate photos/ephemera with such precise drawings that one is never sure where your drawing "ends" and the 3D bits begin. It's all a rich stew with perfectly selected ingredients. Fab.

8:50 AM  
Blogger andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Thank you all folks. I appreciate the comments and visits enourmously.

Drawings like this can sometimes start annoying you. They take so long and the step by step element seems to drag them out even longer! But it's a nice spread in my Moleskine.

Cheers, my dears.

10:08 AM  
Blogger deborah said...

Thanks for posting the step by step, that in itself took patience...your art has always been awe inspiring...and such a joy and departure.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Now that was most enlightening, but as others have said, we STILL don't know how the heck you do it! ;-)

I have been following your work for several years now and I remain in awe. I also enjoy working with ballpoint but this sort of technique stubbornly eludes me. You'll have to write up a thorough tutorial some time! E.g. I enjoy looking at your renditions of various people's handwriting. It looks very spontaneous, so now I wonder whether you are a master forger who can write like anyone else, or whether you painstakingly reproduce other people's letters one by one, as if they are simply more things to draw. But in that case, how to keep that spontaneous handwriting look!?

I shake my head in awe and wonder. Trompe l'oeil in (mostly) ballpoint pen!? Who woulda thunk! You are now officially one of my main inspirations, and can expect to have your style mercilessly and very badly imitated... ;-)

3:26 AM  
Blogger the art of curiosity said...

You're a genius! No other word will do. Thank you for boggling my mind & thrilling my eyes!


10:19 AM  
Blogger 日月神教-向左使 said...


9:41 PM  
Blogger The Cutter said...

That is amazing!

3:07 AM  
Blogger °kami° said...

I have no words. It's fantastic. I love your drawings!

8:47 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

That was SO fabulous...thanks recording the process! The photo is amazing!


3:41 PM  
Blogger wagonized said...

Oh goodness Andrea! I was holding my breath as I was scrolling down! You amaze me again.

1:08 AM  
Blogger wagonized said...

... and I miss you.

1:10 AM  
Blogger שקמה said...

What can I say? Your work simply mesmerizing me.
Have you ever been in Israel? Because one of the notes is in Hebrew

9:23 PM  
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1:06 AM  

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