Chris Ware: Simultaneously inspired and depressed!

Simultaneously inspired and depressed!

I took a look through the art books at Shipley’s on Charing Cross Road (formerly known as Zwemmers) and got both inspired and depressed by Chris Ware’s ‘Acme Novelty Datebook: Sketches and Diary Pages in Facsimile 1986-1995’.

Chris Ware is the cartoon genius behind Jimmy Corrigan and his Acme Novelty Datebook is a collection of smudged illustrations, wry observations, half finished ideas, short strips and witty sketches from his sketchbooks.

And it’s good. Bloody good! Such a body of work can only inspire, but the depressing bit came when I looked at my pitifully under-used sketchbook when I got home. It’s crap! I felt completely ‘umbled!

Truth is, I’ve barely used a sketch book for ages and reading through Ware’s book makes me realise how much I used to enjoy sketching.

When you’re sketching a scene, you can become completely immersed in what’s going on around you – the architecture, the light, passing people’s faces, the sounds and the weather – and it can be a great feeling. Time flies by and you’re left with a really strong memory of a certain point in your life.

Heck, it doesn’t even matter if the end result is crap – like a lot of things, it can be the sheer joy of just doing that makes the experience worthwhile…

(Mike makes note to self: must sketch more!)

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