Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Sketchbook Project: Collaboration

I've participated in The Sketchbook Project these last two years, so when registration opened up for 2013, I signed up immediately. Around the same time, two things happened: first, I saw this awesome sketchbook collaboration between two artists (where they created two nearly identical books, one for each of them to keep), which I thought was a great idea. Secondly, I was chatting with my friend Angie, and our high school days came up. "Remember when we used to write stories together?" She would write one page, I'd write the next, and so on, passing those notebooks back and forth near daily.

And so we decided to merge these two ideas with The Sketchbook Project - since the sketchbooks get sent back to the Art House Co-op for a national tour, we wouldn't have to worry about who gets to keep the book, or about duplicating our work into two books.

We decided to have two different "types" of spreads: 
  1. left-right: one artist will complete the left page first, then the other will complete the right side, using the left side as inspiration
  2. collaborative: one artist will start the spread, the other will complete it
These types of spreads will then have some order as you go through the book (not counting the very first and very last page, which we'll do together along with the cover):
  1. left-right: I start the left
  2. left-right: Angie starts the left
  3. collaborative: I start
  4. left-right: Angie starts
  5. left-right: I start
  6. collaborative: Angie starts
  7. etc...
Since we wanted to rebind the sketchbook, I got it first. I replaced the staples with bookbinder's thread (using the same holes) and added two sheets of thick watercolour paper to the middle:
Next, I spent a few weeks deciding where to start. I have quite a few ideas for pages I want to do, but I didn't know which to start with or where to put them throughout the book. Starting something like this is intimidating!

Ultimately, I decided the very first spread would be a name doodle:
I used ink for the doodle, then filled it in with pencil crayon. This is probably the only page I'll be adding my website and the date to (except the first page, which will likely be an intro of sorts) - all the others I'll simply initial. I finished it with a spray of acrylic sealer so that the crayon wouldn't transfer to Angie's page.

Next, I knew I wanted to fill in a page with washi tape... I just love how it looks:
I'm not sure exactly which page number this one landed on, but it's before the watercolour pages. The spread directly before this page is a collaborative one I start, so I did that one next:
I went with the beginning steps that I use for many spreads in my own sketchbooks:
  1. masking tape into the crease to protect the rest of the book (not that this really worked at the bottom... the ink went through to the previous page a bit, despite the masking tape, wax paper and towel I was using, and of course that's one of Angie's pages... arg.)
  2. gel medium to glue down some mint ledger paper
  3. orange India ink along the top, letting it drip, then adding a few drops of brown ink
I can't wait to see what Angie does with these pages and the other pages she starts! We'll be sending it back and forth about four times; I'm excited to see how it will take shape and transform throughout the year. To make it even more fun, we aren't blogging about it until the other receive the book (Angie just got it in the mail yesterday)... oh the suspense!

What do you think of our collaboration? What would you do with these pages I've started?


Angie said...

I'm excited to see what I do too! As of now, I have absolutely no clue LOL :D

mel said...

This looks awesome! I wish I had creative friends that would do this with me.
I would complete the spreads with:
-my own name doodle
-hearts across from the washi that are doodled and filled with the patterns in the washi
-write poems over the ink drips.
I haven't done a haiku since elementary school.

P.s. first visit to your blog and love it. Found you via e's Ontario baking giveaway