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February 12, 2016

Catpuccinos!

coffee cat sketchbook

I perked up immediately when I only read the title of Elena Efremova’s series: “Coffee Cats.” Coffee and cats? In each image, a drip of coffee trickles down the side of its mug and spills onto on open sketchbook, where it is now the tail of a cat! The artist says each kitty has its own character, just like every type of coffee has its own flavor. Efremova’s accompanying descriptions for the personalities of the cats is simply adorable!

For each photograph, a different style of coffee drink is prepared in a way that showcases the traits of the coffee as well, such as romantic latte art on the sweet cappuccino or a side of croissants at a street cafe for french coffee. Efremova’s bias comes out cleverly in the drawing of her personal favorite drink: coffee with ice cream is a black and white cat snuggling sweetly. I can’t get enough when it comes to doodles of cats or coffee, so seeing them beautifully brought together like this hypes me up more than a shot of espurresso. 

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February 9, 2016

Two-Color Sketchbook Spreads Are Like Looking Through 3D Glasses

I’m so into these sketchbook spreads! Thomas Rouzière draws ordinary moments from every day life with an artistic flair that makes the mundane look insane. The usage of two colors is nostalgically reminiscent of looking through 3D glasses. It’s a unique style with a vintage aesthetic that creates cinematic imagery out of the bustle and mess of mundane tasks like cooking or studying at the end of the day. Aside from the fun retro colors, the contrast between shadows and white space is visually stunning. Incredible composition like this needs to be appreciated. I can't wait to see more marker sketches from Rouzière!

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January 12, 2016

Doodles Blooming in a Sketchbook

flower doodle

I'm finding calm today as I look through annnsunn’s tumblr. The artist’s wonderfully photographed sketchbook has a simple floral theme, and they love to include the real life flower that inspired their drawing. Seeing the artwork alongside the flower that inspired it is especially enjoyable thanks to the gorgeous composition of both the drawings and the photos. It’s neat, clean, and uncomplicated. No wonder it clears my thoughts just by looking at this garden on paper.

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December 14, 2015

Coloring Up A Storm in the Doodlers Anonymous Epic Coloring Book

doodlers anonymous epic coloring book

There's nothing that makes our day like seeing the way our books inspire others to color up something beautiful. We discovered Dede Willingham a month or so ago when she hosted a live stream of herself coloring one of the pages from our Epic Coloring Book. The stream (which you can still watch on her uStream channel) also included Dede walking us through the book, showing the many pages she had already colored in, and discussing her favorite illustrations. Her colored pages looked phenomenal and she had so many kind words to say about our book to her community. The way Dede colors is special because she doodles in her own additions to the illustrations that weren't there before. It's easy to just fill in between the lines, but Dede really interacts with the art and builds on it with her own flair. She adds tattoos, or wind and snow, and other exciting details that I'd never have expected.

Naturally, Dede swept us off our feet! She's a portrait artist who draws a wide range of things from pets to celebrities for commissions. In her free time, she enthusiastically participates in and engages with the online art community. She does a live stream every Monday at 9am (some Wednesdays and Fridays too) in which you can watch her draw or color. The show is called Coffee and Art in the Morning and it’s amazing to see her in action, so give it a look. Below are some more pages from our Epic Coloring Book that Dede worked her magic on. It’s simply enchanting to find how many small details she weaves in to breathe new life into these black and white pages.

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December 9, 2015

Sketchbook with Rules (Kinda)

My latest sketchbook has been getting really messy, and honestly I've never enjoyed sketch booking more... and I never liked the results this much either!

I've given myself two idea guidelines. 1.) To make things without judgement (harkening back to my recent post) and 2.) more is more - in the same way that its easier to look fashionable in winter by adding layers upon layers, I would just paint, cut and paste until it started to look good!

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December 7, 2015

Open & Closed Mode with John Cleese

Recently I started a new sketchbook with a new sketchbook philosophy. Here's the idea: time in the sketchbook should be pure unadulterated fun. Michael Jordan couldn't get in the zone if he had to the ref the game at the same time.

John Cleese of Monty Python speaks heavily on this topic in this talk.

When you go to be creative there are two distinct modes, the open mode and the closed mode.

In the open mode the only rule is that you have fun. You enjoy it. You're not trying to make judgements on whether what you are making is good or bad.

Then go into the closed mode, the execution mode. This is where you edit and make judgements.

I suggest you play more in the open mode in your sketchbook. This doodle (above) is an example of experiments in the open mode.

You might just have more success and surprise yourself!

Happy open doodling everyone!


December 6, 2015

Memories in Moleskine

Images from Stephan Hohenthanner’s blog seem more like memories than sketches to me. He makes a habit of sketching the mundane with close attention to all its little details, but the way he captures it on the page is moody and atmospheric. Stephan is an illustrator in Hamburg, so I’m going to assume these are real places in Germany. I’ve never been to Germany, so it’s strange for me to admit that his illustrated scenes make me feel a nostalgic sense of comfort from streets and homes I’m not familiar with at all.

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