The Sketchbook Project…

It was a golden autumnal day when l discovered The Sketchbook Project / Brooklyn Art Library post on my Instagram feed. With my heart skipping a beat, l scrolled through the engaging details of the project, and felt instantly compelled to participate.

Inspired by one of the suggested themes – ´Mixed Use´, l set out to create a visual celebration of the sketchbooks to which l have joyfully filled over the years – from graphic design student to present day. l see my book as an opportunity for others to follow my creative journey, as the project actively invites readers to browse through a sketchbook, whether it be analog – off-the-shelf, or digital “slide-show”. Parallel to this, the experience encompasses a mobile library in the form of “pop-ups”, tours and exhibitions. l find this aspect hugely exciting!

Titled:´Reflections of a Creative Hybrid´ my sketchbook evolved into mirroring both my sides – as a commercial graphic designer and mixed-media artist. l am delighted to announce, l am now officially an artist of The Brooklyn Library Sketchbook Project, and my book has been catalogued. As all books are trackable, l will naturally be curious to see who views it.

Founded by Managing Director, Steven Peterman in 2006, when he was just 20yrs old and in college, The Sketchbook Project was set up with the vision to create a small community art space. As Peterman so beautifully writes…

“With over 50,000 sketchbooks from 30,000 different global creative people, we have grown over the past 14 years to be the largest collection of sketchbooks in the world. We have reignited art careers, inspired first time creatives and even helped a few marriage proposals. We have connected long lost friends, sparked creativity in young minds and created a space for art to live on, indefinitely. We are more than just a project. We are a slice of global creativity. We are an inside look at what people are thinking. We are an archive, a library, a source for endless inspiration.”

l am thrilled to be a part of a global movement of creatives. It is an honour to help fund and contribute to the Brooklyn Art Library. l wish both the library and The Sketchbook Project a bright and creative future!

Perhaps you may feel inspired to participate, and become part of the global creative movement…

The Seaglass journey…

The idea started with a dreamcatcher. More precisely, the name l gave to the paper boat that l had assembled and perched on top of the words Every journey begins with a first step – printed on the cover of my new blank sketchbook. 

Seaglass is on the move, sailing to its new home alongside Looking Glass — where they will burn brightly together, like a lighthouse.

After creating a visual to capture this change, I happily turned to Patricia Vila Nova for another rewarding creative collaboration. Together, we worked to translate the new Seaglass message with simple paper-play charm and metaphor.

The animation itself reflects the newly explored shores of visual storytelling. As a graphic designer, I enjoy the wonderful sense of excitement and growth that learning new skills can spark — and the challenge of capturing a client’s voice and story in a creative, engaging way.

Consolidating Seaglass visual communication and the creative inspiration captured in Looking Glass feels organic — and like the realisation of a beautiful dream.  

And so, buoyed by the flow of nature, Seaglass is sailing on. I invite you to keep a look-out for new and exciting stories, side projects and updates.  

 

D is for…dream catching

Every journey begins with a new step. l find this statement exciting, it carries a heady sense of exploration, possibility, and promise. This carefully chosen note-book sits perfectly aligned with the origami wish-boat, instinctively named ´Dream Catcher´.

With a joyful feeling of renewed creative buoyancy…as the year unfolds, l wonder where my dreams will take me ?

l love the idea of catching my dreams (even dreams still to be realised) – with imagination, meaning, curiosity and insight as my fellow travellers. Naturally visualization (in its various forms) plays an integral and creative role – my daily tool at play.

Wishing you all sparkly dream catching.

LN16

The Long Night of the Museums was a beautiful and insightful journey, with discoveries have been processed and explored, l felt inspired to create this visual map to capture the evening.

Commencing from the floating wooden platform, l watched a series of short films. A collection of stories bringing together various local professions and artists – compelling in topic in conjunction with the artists individual visual approach to story-telling.

Moving on through-out the evening, l found myself falling down a rabbit-hole via a set of charming book illustrations by Zurich-born artist Hanny Fries, complimented by a live musical performance, extracted from the classic novel… Alice-in-Wonderland...this was duly followed by a colourful ride on Moroccan carpets at the Museum Bellerive – striking in textile medium and traditional craftsmanship!

A few tram stops later, l mused over many an art piece at the Museum Haus Konstruktiv… “Thinking Outside of the Box” – happily leading me to the outside bar to enjoy a colourful drink and engaging conversation under the twinkling stars and fairy lights.

To round off the long night, l slowly made our way up to the Kunsthaus to view the retrospective on the diverse works of artist Francis Picabia.

In the wee small hours, a visual feast for the creative mind, had been fully enjoyed. Food for thought indeed.

*Visual Investigations image: © Elizabeth Hitchman

A sprinkle of season’s greetings…

It has been said that *”Christmas is almost the Olympics of wit for designers, with the toughest competition and past performance to surpass”.

Not wishing to appear twee or over the top, as a designer l like to take the creative direction of raising a smile with a gentle injection of seasonal humour, and the “Christmassification” of an object is an approach l find most fun.

l was recently asked by writer D.B. Miller if l had interest to come up with visual ideas to sprinkle some wintery sparkle onto her corporate identity, (a project l also had the pleasure to co-create) … during our conversation, it became quickly apparent as how best to add a note of seasonal cheer.

*Extract taken from ‘A Smile In The Mind’ by Beryl McAlhone, David Stuart. Published by Phaidon.

Beyond words…introducing D.B. Miller

I feel most fortunate to have struck up a friendship with the writer D.B. (Daryl) Miller in the spring of 2003. We met through a magazine project which we were both working on at the time. From the outset she inspired me not only as a creative, but as an individual whose outlook in life carried an air of authenticity and richly cultured prose. The words “raise my game” sprang to mind when l happened to glance over her impressive achievements as a writer.

Blending her passion for music and her gift for telling a story, l believe Daryl’s gig-based essays capture a plethora of heightened emotions that arise when watching a band perform live – in her words “the power of something much harder to name”. Her acute observations allow the reader to truly feel.

Daryl’s writings also extend to other creative individuals and spaces, whether it be a floating theatre, a bookstore or a guitar shop in downtown Zurich, her ability to tell their story goes beyond words. The poetic construction of language which features in her work evokes a powerful sense of truthfulness layered with emotive depth and richness.

As the iconic Glastonbury festival kicks off, l warmly invite you to explore online the published works of D.B. Miller.

Visuals: Elizabeth Hitchman

A Snippet from my sketchbooks

A beautifully hand-crafted sketch-book with crisp white pages makes my creative heart sing. To me, these pages excitingly appear as a blank canvas in which l can play, collect and create visual stories.

l tend to start at the end of the book, as well as the beginning, meeting in the middle – l find this process entices the page to maintain a balanced level of visual interest throughout.

Beginning this sketch-book just a few weeks ago has generated a new creative space for the many layers of clippings that l have collected over time. In this posting l’d thought l’d share an artwork piece of a bookmark which l designed to compliment a book gift, and the opening end pages of my new sketch-book.

ln years to come, l feel it will be fun to look through … catching a glimpse of inspired conversations, ideas for design projects, exhibitions visited with family and friends, or simply a lovely reminder of visuals that caught my eye.

A typographic celebration of a band

Pearl Jam live in concert, Milan, 20th June 2014.

A date that will remain steadfast in memory. A band that l’ve followed since the release of their debut album ‘Ten’ (1992).

A repertoire steeped in emotive music, richly in-depth lyrics sung with  beautifully haunting baritone vocals…a captivating combination of artistic elements – inspired me to design this typography piece – reflecting music which is weaved into my life´s soundtrack.

Perhaps you’ll discover a Pearl Jam song, that speaks to you…

Force of Nature

It was an immense pleasure to collaborate with artist Sandra Ondraschek-Norris on a book project, drawing together a collection of her landscape paintings. And over the years, l’ve been fortunate to observe Sandra’s work during the various stages of the artistic process. Sandra’s studio is an inspirational sight for the creative eye – a glimpse of a painting in progress (propped up against an easel), has left me on many an occasion with a sense of eager anticipation on being able to view the finished piece.

Growing up on a farm, against the rugged coastal backdrop of County Donegal, Ireland, memories of this changeable seascape proves to be a well of inspiration, inviting Sandra to capture nature’s ebb & flow with her signature style of brushstroke.

Ever reflecting her environment, Sandra’s conversations with nature continues not only with her homeland, but also with the vivid landscape of the Zürichsee (on the doorstep of where she resides), along with the dramatic shape of the nearby mountains.

The design concept for the book itself was to give a sense of “looking through a window “- drawing the reader into the rich, indepth textures of nature. For the biography pages, tonal greens were chosen to give a sense of earthy warmth to the pages. Inside, a solid black background template was created to frame each piece of artwork, allowing the eye to focus on the rich colours of the paintings.

Looking at Sandra’s paintings, leaves me with one final thought …tis a beautiful “Force of Nature“.

*The book can be purchased via the Blurb bookstore.