How do you learn to draw your life?
That’s a question I get a lot.
The answer is
that there is more than just one way.
Way more!
One way is this:

Shadowweb

“In the Shadow” – journal page, acrylics and mixed media


What I do on a regular basis,
is scour the library for really beautiful picture books
for inspiration.
Last Saturday I picked “Zzzzz….Slaap Lekker”
(In English: “The Book of Sleep”)
by Il Sung Na,
a truly awesome picture book
that deserves a spot in any picture-book minded book case
especially for its beautiful art.

Because that is what illustration can be,
Art.
As can be telling your life in drawings and paintings.
So what I do,
is bring home such a beautiful picture book
and then sit down with it
to study materials and techniques used.
In the case of “The Book of Sleep”
I loved the mixed media,
the layering
and the formidable color compositions,
often positioned against the dark.
Then I sit down behind my drawing table with what I learned,
think about what theme in my life I want to say something about
and get my fingers dirty.
Now, the trick is
NOT to copy.
Copying is pretty much making yourself a coloring page
and then coloring between the lines.
Nothing much artistic or even creative about that.
The trick is to exercise your skills
and apply them to YOUR OWN story
and YOUR OWN imagery.
If you do that diligently,
you will learn more than you ever thought possible…
Oh, and if you want to see what “The Book of Sleep” is about,
Stay put for just under 5 minutes for this video:

And if you fell in love with the book
as much as I did,
you might like to download this desktop theme