I am fascinated with sketchbooks. I love illustration and the rawness of thinking that is achieved through sketching. I use my sketchbooks to document travel experiences, excursions to art galleries, museums and for all my design projects. My thinking process always begins with a drawing, however crude. When I interview designers I always ask to see their sketch work or sketchbooks. For me, I can quickly see how they form ideas and it’s good to know if they can draw or not. It also shows a passion for the medium. Professional illustrators have fantastic sketchbooks, I also see more illustrations draw digitally which are among the most imaginative use of a medium that I have come across.
My belief is that as an illustrator you should be as flexible as possible in your style and constantly updating and changing it. As a designer/illustrator almost all my clients want to look differently from their competitors and that requires a fresh look and an understanding of their brand strategy. Freelance illustrators may approach their craft with a different strategy, spending time perfecting a particular style, attracting art directors looking for something specific or trending. Some illustrators will create a niche for a particular illustration style and can do very well out of it for a time. This approach should not be used if your client is looking to differentiate themselves with an ownable style.
Once a year I try to visit a city (somewhere in the world), where I can be inspired by architecture, art exhibits, design museums and experience the local culture. I document all of it in a sketchbook dedicated to that city. Copenhagen is among one of my favourites.
In some instances, I have presented clients with a sketchbook that documents the whole project. For example: With Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts we were shooting film over several months and the sketchbook contained film ideas for each location, portraits I captured at airport waiting lounges, and experiences we had along the way.
In this post, I have included a cross-section of illustrations and sketches that went on to inspire graphic styles for clients.