“Number seven resonates with the vibrations and energies of the collective consciousness”

Joanne Walmsley


SEVEN is a Creative Sketchbook Collective, based in Leigh on sea. Formed in January 2017 by local artists who met on a Creative Journal course at Metal in Southend, we have as a group, continued to develop our art practice using creative sketchbooks and altered books.

We think of our sketchbooks as the ideal space for artistic experimentation; a place where doodling is encouraged, where anything can be an art material, and mistakes can provide inspiration. Making our altered books is a way of repurposing a second hand/found book to give it a new narrative and meaning. The books we create are very tactile and full of texture; and we love to share our explorations.

Individually, we are all successful artists/designers/makers with a variety of backgrounds and skills. We love the synergy of bouncing ideas off each other and it continually surprises us to see how each person interprets the same brief in their own unique way.

“We’re more than the sum-total of our individual parts”.

Collectively we inspire and motivate each other to take greater risks than we would individually, which we believe results in a stronger body of work.

Using processes and working within themed parameters means we relinquish control, which helps to silence our inner-critic. We believe in ‘happy accidents’ and in unconscious intentions, which can often be self-revelatory.


As a collective we are committed to finding our authentic voice, encouraging each other and sharing our work. To date we have exhibited our work at various local events including the Village Green and Leigh Art Trail. We believe that by inviting others to touch the books, we are making the work more accessible; this in turn provides a more engaging and memorable experience that we hope will extend the conversation to a wider audience.

Our manifesto

Our work

At the last count SEVEN had developed over 40 creative sketchbooks and altered books; that’s in excess of 4000 pages of work!

Below is a selection of our recent developments…

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Follow us on Instagram if you’d like to see more.


Audience Feedback – Sharing Our Altered Books At Leigh Art Trail

While for some artists exhibiting their work is partly motivated by making a sale, for SEVEN it’s simply about sharing our books. So after the pandemic hiatus a return to the real life Leigh Art Trail was pretty exciting – what would people say? Spreading the Sketchbook Love “I love this[.] Would prefer to have …

Do Our Art Journals Have Better Adventures Than Us Now? – The Estuary Festival

We might not have been going anywhere much over the last year or so, but our SEVEN journals have been. First it was New York with The Brooklyn Sketchbook Project then it was much closer to home with Estuary 2021. Collective Journaling Inspired By The Thames One of the last things we did in real …


We’re based in Leigh-on-sea in Essex. Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more – we’re a friendly bunch…

email: hello@sevenartists.co.uk


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“The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts”