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What is in an artist sketchbook?

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

During the Covid19 period of 2020-21, when we were all isolated to different deg rees, I found myself marooned in Vietnam in the little World Heritage Town of Hoi An which is about 25kn from the central city of Da Nang. After all the tourists and seasonal workers had gone back to their homes, this semi rural fishing and farming town fell into a slumber.

It was an interesting time of introspection for all creatives. It was a pause, a retreat and, in many ways, a gift of time during which so many people took stock of their lives and considered if they needed to find a new way forward.

It is easy for artists to fall into producing popular work that will appeal to locals and visitors but that becomes an empty pursuit when the local population thins out and whed we didn't know when or if the visitors would ever return. So this period became one of experiments and discovery and, through this, I found my way back to the artist I was when I was in my teens. It came as a surprise and this sketch book tells some of that story.

The lesson I learned was - To produce meaningful or exciting work, you must be true only to yourself, your unique self.

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