Back to sketchbook school – SEVEN gets a makeover

September marked a new term and some new approaches for SEVEN Collective. Following the Leigh and Southend Art Trails we had a think. Was our sketchbook collective going the way we wanted? Some people reckoned not…

Plus, check out our mind-bending idea-generating tip at the end of this post – it’s pretty out there, see what you make of it!

Gelli printing session at Leigh Community Centre

Time to bin the concertina?

One key area of contention were the sketchbooks themselves. While we were all committed to the journal format, someone asked:

Do the journals have to be concertina in format?”

Then we got on a roll…

Do the books have to be A5?

Why not smaller?

Or bigger?

Then we got really daring…

Couldn’t we just do something altogether different?

New themes

Like what?” some of us said.

Like, choose our own theme under a kind of umbrella heading…

Yes! We could each work with a different colour!

Err, no. What if you got lumped with putrid pink or blah brown?

They had a point.

So we considered taking a favourite book as a starting point. It seemed to go down well. Nods and murmurs of approval all round. Then a small voice confessed:

Words just don’t inspire me.

Hey ho. Back to the drawing board, then…

By jove, I’ve got it! How about a favourite artist or art movement?

YES!” *Whoops and air punches*

And, so it was agreed. Our Leigh Art Trail creative journals for 2019 would be based on the umbrella theme of an artist or art movement, but it was up to us to choose exactly who we’d like to explore…

New journals

No people, we couldn’t let it go at that. Now we might as well go the whole nine yards.  While we were branching out on themes, couldn’t we just, like, make our own books from scratch?

Yep, that’s right. Make our own unique journals. From. Scratch. What could possibly go wrong?! Watch this space…

New ideas

And, to get us into the back-to-sketchbook-school swing we decided to play around with some idea-generating prompts courtesy of musician Brian Eno.

Eno’s Oblique Strategies were introduced to us by artist Heidi Wigmore when we attended her creative journaling classes back in the day. Now, we were turning to them as a suitably mind-blowing way to get our SEVEN creative juices flowing for the new project ahead.

Check out the Oblique Strategies generator for gems like: ‘Mechanicalize something idiosyncratic’

I know! Right!?

Just where will all these new ideas take SEVEN, our creative journals, and you?

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