My sketchbooks ı You can observe a lot by just sketching

When I started out as a trainee animator at Hahn Film in Berlin one day our director Bill Speers asked me to show him my sketchbooks. Not only did I not have one that I could show, but I was not in the habit of sketching every day from life. I felt embarrassed back then. As we went on talking I decided then that I would start using sketchbooks. He suggested to always date my sketches and thoughts, keep a sketchbook close by at any time,keep the books and revisit them later And so I did. The first sketches were terrible. I was always tempted to rip out the pages, so nobody would see how terrible they are. I kept going. Once in a while I thought I could see a glimpse of hope in them. I kept going. And slowly, over the years really, I came to understand their value to me as an artist. The value of having a sketchbook and working with it as often as I can. They help me sharpen my skills, to observe and refresh my imagination. Now, looking back, I realize that I was using sketchbooks all along since I was a little child. I have many books which I have used for scribbles and short stories, travel notes, pasted photographs. Much like a diary, scratch-book and sketchbook all in one. Growing up in the remote countryside I never met another likeminded artist. So I started to publish a comic fanzine (printed and distributed through mail/ money-order) when I was 14. This was afirst step exchanging ideas withmy colleagues. Many of them are now established artists in their own right. In 1984 I went to the first Comic Salon in Erlangen. I was blown away by the whole experience. Exchanging ideas, drawings and sketches. The high level of professionalism and technical skills. And the sketchbooks everybody had. They even sometimes seemed to be better than the actual published, cleaned up work. This was when my perception of what a sketchbook should be was formed. As I kept going with my notebooks, I never considered them to be sketchbooks. For the most part, my sketchbook are privat. They travel with me to wherever I go, they get beaten down, rained on, snowed on. They dont look pretty, but worn out. I sketch in them, write notes, ideas, keep addresses,telephone numbers, my kids borrow them and add their drawings. They are very much a diary. The thoughts that I sketch in these books stay with me and keep me motivated. But they are very far from being finished pieces of artwork. And this is exactly their value. As a commercial artist, I have to find ways to perform at the top of my ability, every day. And then pushing it forward some more to avoid stagnation and repeating myself too often. I must work towards a finished piece of artwork, a presentable one. In my sketchbooks I have the freedom to explore. Having a sketchbook with me has helped me tremendously with my professional work. I draw. I do not draw because I happen to have a job where I have to draw. I draw because I started and never ever stopped. There never was somebody telling me what to and what not to draw. It is because I want to draw and create. Sometimes this very essence of why I draw can get lost in the day to day routine of the job. Sketchbooks are one way for me to keep this feeling alive. These are some pages from the past few days. Hope you like them. Edge Of Darkness Edge Of Darkness Edge Of Darkness Edge Of Darkness Edge Of Darkness Edge Of DarknessWhen I started out as a trainee animator at Hahn Film in Berlin one day our director Bill Speers asked me to show him my sketchbooks. Not only did I not have one that I could show, but I was not in the habit of sketching every day from life. I felt embarrassed back then. As we went on talking I decided then that I would start using sketchbooks. He suggested to always date my sketches and thoughts, keep a sketchbook close by at any time,keep the books and revisit them later And so I did. The first sketches were terrible. I was always tempted to rip out the pages, so nobody would see how terrible they are. I kept going. Once in a while I thought I could see a glimpse of hope in them. I kept going. And slowly, over the years really, I came to understand their value to me as an artist. The value of having a sketchbook and working with it as often as I can. They help me sharpen my skills, to observe and refresh my imagination. Now, looking back, I realize that I was using sketchbooks all along since I was a little child. I have many books which I have used for scribbles and short stories, travel notes, pasted photographs. Much like a diary, scratch-book and sketchbook all in one. Growing up in the remote countryside I never met another likeminded artist. So I started to publish a comic fanzine (printed and distributed through mail/ money-order) when I was 14.  This was  afirst step  exchanging  ideas withmy colleagues. Many of them are now established artists in their own right.  In 1984 I went to the first Comic Salon in Erlangen. I was blown away by the whole experience. Exchanging ideas, drawings and sketches. The high level of professionalism and technical skills. And the sketchbooks everybody had. They even sometimes seemed to be better than the actual published, cleaned up work. This was when my perception of what a sketchbook should be was formed. As I kept going with my notebooks, I never considered them to be sketchbooks. For the most part, my sketchbook are privat. They travel with me to wherever I go, they get beaten down, rained on, snowed on. They dont look pretty, but worn out. I sketch in them, write notes, ideas, keep addresses,telephone numbers, my kids borrow them and add their drawings. They are very much a diary. The thoughts that I sketch in these books stay with me and keep me motivated. But they are very far from being finished pieces of artwork. And this is exactly their value. As a commercial artist, I have to find ways to perform at the top of my ability, every day. And then pushing it forward some more to avoid stagnation and repeating myself too often. I must work towards a finished piece of artwork, a presentable one. In my sketchbooks I have the freedom to explore. Having a sketchbook with me has helped me tremendously with my professional work. I draw. I do not draw because I happen to have a job where I have to draw. I draw because I started and never ever stopped. There never was somebody telling me what to and what not to draw. It is because I want to draw and create. Sometimes this very essence of why I draw can get lost in the day to day routine of the job. Sketchbooks are one way for me to keep this feeling alive. These are some pages from the past few days. Hope you like them.   Edge Of Darkness Edge Of Darkness Edge Of Darkness Edge Of Darkness Edge Of Darkness Edge Of DarknessWhen I started out as a trainee animator at Hahn Film in Berlin one day our director Bill Speers asked me to show him my sketchbooks. Not only did I not have one that I could show, but I was not in the habit of sketching every day from life. I felt embarrassed back then. As we went on talking I decided then that I would start using sketchbooks. He suggested to always date my sketches and thoughts, keep a sketchbook close by at any time,keep the books and revisit them later And so I did. The first sketches were terrible. I was always tempted to rip out the pages, so nobody would see how terrible they are. I kept going. Once in a while I thought I could see a glimpse of hope in them. I kept going. And slowly, over the years really, I came to understand their value to me as an artist. The value of having a sketchbook and working with it as often as I can. They help me sharpen my skills, to observe and refresh my imagination. Now, looking back, I realize that I was using sketchbooks all along since I was a little child. I have many books which I have used for scribbles and short stories, travel notes, pasted photographs. Much like a diary, scratch-book and sketchbook all in one. Growing up in the remote countryside I never met another likeminded artist. So I started to publish a comic fanzine (printed and distributed through mail/ money-order) when I was 14.  This was  afirst step  exchanging  ideas withmy colleagues. Many of them are now established artists in their own right.  In 1984 I went to the first Comic Salon in Erlangen. I was blown away by the whole experience. Exchanging ideas, drawings and sketches. The high level of professionalism and technical skills. And the sketchbooks everybody had. They even sometimes seemed to be better than the actual published, cleaned up work. This was when my perception of what a sketchbook should be was formed. As I kept going with my notebooks, I never considered them to be sketchbooks. For the most part, my sketchbook are privat. They travel with me to wherever I go, they get beaten down, rained on, snowed on. They dont look pretty, but worn out. I sketch in them, write notes, ideas, keep addresses,telephone numbers, my kids borrow them and add their drawings. They are very much a diary. The thoughts that I sketch in these books stay with me and keep me motivated. But they are very far from being finished pieces of artwork. And this is exactly their value. As a commercial artist, I have to find ways to perform at the top of my ability, every day. And then pushing it forward some more to avoid stagnation and repeating myself too often. I must work towards a finished piece of artwork, a presentable one. In my sketchbooks I have the freedom to explore. Having a sketchbook with me has helped me tremendously with my professional work. I draw. I do not draw because I happen to have a job where I have to draw. I draw because I started and never ever stopped. There never was somebody telling me what to and what not to draw. It is because I want to draw and create. Sometimes this very essence of why I draw can get lost in the day to day routine of the job. Sketchbooks are one way for me to keep this feeling alive. These are some pages from the past few days. Hope you like them.   Edge Of Darkness Edge Of Darkness Edge Of Darkness Edge Of Darkness Edge Of Darkness Edge Of Darkness

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