Today I received our sketchbook returned from Chantelle, it was little like Christmas morning – I was so excited to see what she had done. It is a new and interesting experience to collaborate with someone you have never met, from previous experience collaboration has involved conversation, bouncing ideas off each other, chat, coffee and time to consider. However with the sketchbook circle that collaboration is stripped back to a purely visual response. I love the fact that Chantelle and I have very different areas of interest and influence, and it has already started to make me look at my own practice and how narrow it can sometimes become. I found this too with my other sketchbook partner, and it has certainly given me a lot to reflect on.

I was hoping that Chantelle wouldn’t feel restricted by the typography theme I started with, and I love the way she has used some of the pages as starting points for her own investigations. Beautiful collages, torn papers and sketches combined with text and maps.




When Nic’s sketchbook arrived in the post at the beginning of february, I was really interested to see that she had started with an underwater theme, with precious jewel-like pebbles and layering, entrapment and texture.


This wasn’t a theme I had used in my own work for some time, and was really looking forward to getting stuck in


My first thought was to photograph the pages and start to play around in photoshop, inspired by the layering and transparency ideas that Nic had begun with.


Developing the nautical theme, I scanned some of the text that Nic had used on the pages, and picked out key words to help me collect images to use.


I found images of fishing trawlers, and even some diagrams detailing the structure of such a vessel, and worked into these images with watercolour paint and brusho.





ImageThe beginning of the year, and a new creative challenge to keep me engaged and excited! After watching the progress and inspiring images from last year’s #tea circle, I couldn’t wait for the new one to start so I could be involved. Since taking on a HOD role last year, I have found I have very little time for any of my own practice, and this circle is the perfect way to make myself ‘make time’ and the collaborative and sharing nature of the group has allowed me to have fun with art again!

I decided to make my sketchbook, as I am interested in developing bookbinding skills, and I had lots of old typography journals that had been donated to the department, so I carefully selected a few interesting pages to cut out and bind together.

Typography and in particular ‘found’ lettering is a passion of mine, so my first few pages included some of my own photos from around the streets of manchester, some of which had been manipulated in photoshop. I placed these along with collage and drawing.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

personal sketchbooks and photography, and work from the #tea sketchbook circle