Christopher Corr is featured in the Summer 2013 edition of Illustration Magazine talking of the importance of his sketchbooks. As an artist whose work is so influenced by all around him, the sketchbook remains an integral part of his illustration process.
Christopher says in the article “I’ve been using sketchbooks since I was an art student. I keep some for working out ideas for projects and I use others purely for making location drawings and paintings and observations. I don’t mix them up.
A sketchbook is so personal: I write down conversations I overhear, graffiti I see and like, headlines from newspapers I notice as I’m drawing, in fact anything that strikes me as important or noteworthy when I’m out and about. On location I’m selective about what I include in my picture making. I am not a camera and so I draw the things I like or dislike, anything I can use later on to recreate that scene.
I work in books of all sizes, some very tiny and others huge. On a trip to China I bought some concertina-type sketchbooks and I used these to paint long panoramic scenes. I bought some beautiful books in India that I’ve used as sketchbooks, red and quilted-cloth covered, tied up with a string. They are made for debt and rent collectors so they can raise eyebrows when you take one from your bag.
You can do whatever you like in a sketchbook. You have total freedom. You make the rules. You can experiment and try out new ideas and work with new and different materials.
I always carry at least one sketchbook in my bag or pocket. They are so useful when you have time on your hands or when you see something remarkable. Artists have been using them for hundreds of years and I like that sense of continuity. It’s an unconscious record of your thoughts and feelings.
I moved recently into the City of London and I have been drawing my new neighbourhood in a big black book. I want big paper to note down the new skyline and tall structures around me. Skyscrapers need space to be seen.“