As I've mentioned before I carry my sketchbooks everywhere I go. They are constant companions. Not always pleasant ones, for sure, as not every sketch turns out the way one would like. Yet, they are steady reminders of how far I still have to go and, on good days, how far I've come. On great days I review them and stumble upon work from other artists who took the time to throw some lines down in my books.
I've been incredibly fortunate to get to know many, many wonderful artists over the years. Many of them are my heroes, and most I'm lucky enough to consider friends. Lately I've been scanning my sketchbooks with an eye toward publishing a book of them. I'm not sure how such a book would be received as I rarely draw monsters or space marines. My sketchbooks are really about observational drawing, for the most part, with some ideation thrown in here and there. I've been assured by many I trust that others would welcome a book like that. I'd love to hear what you think.
First, I'd like to show off the work of the other wonderful artists in the various pages of my quite large pile of sketchbooks. I have an absurdly large collection of Scott Hampton sketches throughout many of my sketchbooks. Scott is a wonder. Seriously. He's so much fun to watch draw. Pure magic. Whenever Scott visited me in New York I would have him come to my illustration classes when I was teaching at Pratt Institute. It would be "Stump Scott Day". The students would throw crazy ideas at him and he'd sit there with a pad of paper and straight with a pen whip out drawing after amazing drawing. Minds. Blown.
Scott and I used to sit at 7th Avenue Donuts in Brookyn, which was right below my apartment/studio, and we would swap sketchbooks. Drinking cup after cup of coffee well through the night we would give each other assignments and draw in each other's books. FREE ART! I was always the winner in those situations because Scott drew so much better than I. In return for doing these beautiful drawings in my sketchbooks I handed him back my lousy scrawls. But he was always incredibly good-natured about it.
It's not too much to say that those sessions with Scott taught me a lot about drawing. Scott's vision is so clear sometimes and it certainly threw a spotlight on my own deficiencies. In the same way that he taught me a ton about playing guitar my work grew in his proximity.
Mark Chiarello would sometimes join us for the late night coffee sessions and a few of his are in here too. They're incredibly playful and I love looking back on these.
On my various travels to foreign comic festivals or signing tours I would get to play fanboy to many of my foreign heroes and their work is here also. I think I'll also scan up the sketches artists have done in my copies of their books as well.
There are many sketches that not published here because boys will be boys and our infantile humor would sometimes get the best of us. Something happens about 3 AM and we regress to something close to three-year olds where everything is funny and nothing is sacred. Some of it would curl your toes. But there's plenty of great stuff to go around without showing any of that.
I hope you enjoy this glimpse into my total sketchbook luck-outs!
PS: Still working on the content of these pages, filling in info on the various sketches and adding more sketches. More uploaded soon!