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From the Scrapbooks
posted: September 20, 2012

When I was in art school I started keeping scrapbooks of things I came across that I liked. I’d save illustrations by artists I admired, napkins from bars, old magazine covers that I found in flea markets, packaging, lettering, anything that caught my eye that I thought I could use for some future assignment. I’d glue them or tape them into these over-sized sketchbooks and whenever I had a project that I was stuck on for ideas, I’d flip through these books, looking for inspiration or something I could steal. These books were different from a scrap file that was full of reference photos that seemed useful, these were books that were a pleasure to look through, pages that could spark ideas. Every illustrator has their collections of things they like and use in their work. Internet image-search has seemed to replace this accumulation of printed ephemera for young artists today. When I give assignments to my students at Art Center that require historic research many of the same images show up, time and again. Keeping a physical record of my interests and inspirations helped me form an identity for my work, and I recommend that young artists who are finding their style of image-making try keeping a scrapbook like these.
 
I made a Tumblr of some of the pieces from the books, you can check it out here.



Peter Palombi...

Mick Haggerty...

McKnight Kauffer...



4 comments
Julia Breckenreid September 23, 2012
Wow, this is really great to see, Paul! Thanks for sharing...
Daniel Pelavin September 24, 2012
Mick Haggerty, McKnight Kauffer, well chosen.
Ellen Weinstein September 24, 2012
Thanks for sharing, Paul. I have a large collection of ephemera myself as well as a poster collection in storage. There is something about experiencing the work in context rather than a 72 dpi jpeg of it online.
Robert Hunt September 26, 2012
A great post that I somehow missed at first. I loved that New West cover, I had it in my own scrapbook files since when I first became an illustrator. I gave away my own collection of images and clippings a couple of years ago, this makes me miss it. Great idea to put these online, Paul!
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