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There’s something I haven’t talked about even if it’s going to have its importance in my trip. When we think about a travel, we think about travel journals. We think about Chatwin or Hemingway, or Delacroix the painter and his Carnets marocains, or Gauguin. Travel journaling is intimely linked with traveling : it’s the way to set the events on the record… on a journal notebook of course.
Why am I telling this? I haven’t the faintest idea, I wanted to write about sketchbooks and about my travel, and it collided, but it’s too interesting to be erased now. (no, it’s not interesting, but I don’t want to find another intro so this one’ll do!)
The sketchbooks I wanted to tell about are those I realised during my studies. My school was the ECV Aquitaine, and my big sister gave me a sketchbook, I don’t remember for what occasion it was. The sketchbook was a Moleskine,you know, one of these little black books with mole-skin (not really) cover on the outside, a creamy paper inside and an oh-so-romantic-but-a-bit-exagerated history wrapped all around… The gift fell just right, because I began to do things in that sketchbook, and the more I did things, the more I needed it.
You see, when you have an activity that’s creative but surrounded with walls, when you work or study and the Brief is king, it’s good to have a way to evade creatively… It’s about exploring new things, discovering new way of doing it and get out of the box. Or is it about basic creative hygiene? To tell you the truth, I don’t know.
Anyway, I quickly understood the importance all of this had for me, so I decided to share the thing on the interwebs. It was in 2004, I started a kind of photoblog without photos, but with scans of my sketchbook pages, with also a mirror on Flickr. I maintained this project for two years, and filled four Small Moleskine Sketchbooks : Aloÿs, Björn, Cristöbal, Daphnëe (with or without ¨ of coürse.)
The blog, now shut down, was primordial in my practice : the sketchbook pages I created were destined to be online. I knew, when I created, that I’d have readers, and it pushed me to finalize my pages, to try new things…
And the readers were there… I didn’t keep the stats, but some blogs wrote about me. Moleskinerie first, then BoingBoing totally by surprise (being boingboinged is an experience not unlike discovering your little brother on the front page of a national newspaper — not that I would know anything about that though). And I was also linked on Drawn! and on some other blogs.
I have to mention that the best things happened thanks to the Moleskine users community that grew around the same time as my project. I discovered Moleskinerie.com around the time I started my project, and I quickly became friends with Armand, blogger in chief. It’s via Moleskinerie that I met Patrick, who maintained MoleskineArt, and thanks to whom I could participate to my first exhibition, Proj:Exhibition, in Hong Kong, where some of my sketchbook pages were showed along with other artists sketchbooks. My first exhibition in my whole life! International fame, almost!
Then in 2006 I also participated to the Detour Exhibition in London, organized by Moleskine. My sketchbook “Cristobal” was with other Moleskines from known artists. Global fame, let me tell you!
That is also around this time, with the end of my studies taking all my time, that I felt less need and impulsion to continue. So I finished the sketchbook “Daphnée” without publishing the last pages. These were not shown to a lot of people… and it’ll stay like that :)
After three years of hiatus, wouldn’t it be nice to start again?Why would I tell you all about that anyway?
Of course I’ll bring some sketchbooks along in my travel. But well, I’ll write about it another day, there’s so much to tell about that…
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