Sketchbooks as a ‘way of seeing’

Irish artist Alice Maher says she sees sketchbooks as a ‘type of reservoir – full of ideas, ideas go into them and come out of them as art’.

Reservoir cover
Reservoir cover

The analogy will likely ring true for many designers and artists, who use notebooks and sketchbooks as a place free from judgment where ideas and pictures can be scribbled down, waiting for a time when they can be built or (or disregarded).

Some hairy characters
Some hairy characters

Maher’s sketchbooks and jottings are soon to be published in a beautiful book from Roads publishing, designed by Dublin-based consultancy Conor & David.

Can't see the wood for the trees
Can’t see the wood for the trees

The consultancy chose to have the first half of the book printed on rough Olin, ‘giving a very organic feel both to the touch and the eye’, says Roads; while the second half, which showcases the artist’s work, printed on glossy photographic paper.

Shard, 2001
Shard, 2001

The book gives an illustrated overview of how ideas go on to form final works, delineating their evolutionary shifts and the sparks that form the full-fledged final pieces.

Maher started out drawing and painting, before moving into animation, photography, film, installation and sculpture, and sees her sketchbooks as ‘a way of seeing the future direction of your work’.

You can find out more about Maher and the book on this video

Alice Maher
Alice Maher

Reservoir: Sketchbooks & Selected Works by Alice Maher is published by Roads on 9 September, priced £40 €45. The book is also available as a slip-cased de-luxe Limited Edition, complete with one of 100 intaglio prints handmade, and signed and numbered by the artist.

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