Artist Spotlight: Charlotte Vallance


Guest blogger and Sketchbook Project participant Charlotte Vallance shares her experience creating her submissions to The Sketchbook Project, and her experience visiting past books at Brooklyn Art Library!


It was so surreal visiting Brooklyn Art Library! It's always been something I've told friends visiting about - 'go and see my sketchbook at the Brooklyn Art Library!' - that to be there myself, and with all my family, was really awesome. It was funny because while I remembered the gist of my sketchbooks - they all feature buildings from travels and trips, mostly in pen and ink - I'd actually forgotten about a whole sketchbook! So that was nice reconnecting with each of them and looking at the pages afresh, bringing back memories from the places the illustrations were of.'

I think I've always had a sketchbook of sorts; at school I always had one as I did so many arty subjects and it's part of the grade to tell your story. These days they are more like notebooks with doodles and lists in them, which is one of the reasons why I signed up for The Sketchbook Project originally. It gave me an excuse to be properly creative without an end goal other than to fill it up and be happy.

Watercolours are my go-to material. You can do them at home or on the go when you're traveling - I even made my own 'watercolour travel kit' that was such a hit I now make them to sell at art & craft fairs. I'm inspired constantly by my surroundings, but not having time in day-to-day life, it's normally places and things from my travels and holidays that inspire me the most. For the latest Sketchbook Project that I'm working on I've selected the title 'Repeat Pattern', as even if it's not an actual physical pattern, an idea or image will repeat in my mind so I don't forget about it!

Buildings are a theme that recur throughout my work. Something in the little details they have that really captures my attention. I'm trying to branch out these days from just illustrating buildings, as there are more ways to tell the whole story, the building is just part of it. Travel is the overriding continuity in my work, I like to try and capture a place through what I've experienced there. The Sketchbook Project is the perfect excuse to tell a story within it's pages and then send it off to be shared with the world, a lovely concept.

The space in the Brooklyn Art Library is so lovely! So light and airy, really perfect for browsing sketchbooks. I was totally overwhelmed and didn't take it all in properly so will just have to schedule another trip to spend some more time there. :)

Thanks for sharing your experience with us Charlotte!  Click here to see more of her work, and enter your email below to sign up for the Field Guide newsletter!

Marissa Passi