Explore Your Life through Visual Narrative: Handmade Sketchbooks

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What would it be like to tell the story of your life through images?  How would you communicate your daily routine without words?

Recently, while riding my bike down a major city avenue, I thought about these questions.  How would I communicate this thrilling/terrifying/challenging experience of trying to commute through traffic to another person through image?  I pulled my bike over to the sidewalk, whipped my sketchbook out of my back pocket and began to sketch, fleshing out bits of ideas and snippets of thoughts.  Later in the safety of my own studio, I reflected on the process.  By trying to figure this out, by trying to tell my story through a Visual Narrative, I felt like I could relate to the artisans that carefully craft Anchal’s products.

Creating a Visual Narrative is something that we have asked our Anchal Artisans and the women of the Anchal-Art of Yoga workshop to do though fabric.  We ask them to take what they see and experience in their everyday lives and transfer them into something beautiful. If you were to do this exercise too, how would you do it?  What stories would you tell?  Would you use drawings?  Collage?  Ink washes?  Finger paint?  A combination?

Any way you do it, it’s best to flesh out these ideas in a sketchbook.  This way, you can test out different ideas and methods of making before committing to them.  Maybe a finger paint narrative is the best idea you have ever had.  Maybe collage plus finger paint is an EVEN better idea.  Who knows where the process might take you!

My favorite sketchbooks have been the ones that I have made.  I feel connected to them, as if in the formation of the book with my own hands, I have infused them with all my creative spirit.  If you want to make your own sketch book too, check out this great video demonstrating Japanese Stab Binding made by talented ladies at CuriousDoodles and ColorTheory

-Lizzy

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