TOOLS OF THE TRADE: sketch
QUESTION #1: Do you always prepare sketches as part of the design process?
ANSWER #1: Yes. No. Maybe. Sometimes. It really just depends if there is a need to draw things out and plan steps ahead of time, or not.
QUESTION #2: When do you prepare sketches and when don’t you?
ANSWER #2: If the print has a lot of steps that need to be planned ahead of time, like multiple color layers or complicated layouts, then it helps to draw things out first. There is a bigger adrenaline rush that comes with flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants without a sketch though. It’s like skydiving, without needing a plane and a parachute, and having and old press and a big pile of paper instead. Actually, come to think of it, it’s not really that much like skydiving. Well maybe just a little. Whatever. Next question please.
QUESTION #3: What do you draw with when you make sketches?
ANSWER #3: Regular black Sharpie markers are the best. Second choice is a nice pencil. Third choice is 120+ Prismacolors.
QUESTION #4: I see you do sketches for linoleum block illustrations, but do you do sketches for text-only layouts too?
ANSWER #4: Yes. Illustrations are usually drawn with special pencils, in a very nice 10″ x 10″ hardcover sketch pad, but text-only layouts are usually done with borrowed ball point pens, on a scratch piece of paper, a piece of junk mail or on a crumpled paper napkin or paper towel. Don’t ask why it happens that way. It’s one of those mysteries of the universe that someone will make an indie documentary film about someday.
QUESTION #5: How closely does the final print come to looking like the original sketch?
ANSWER #5: It’s like this: the sketch is like looking in the mirror first thing in the morning before you brush your teeth, comb your hair and shave or put makeup on, or even know what day it is. The finished print is like looking at your own reflection in a cafe window, after having a great massage, pedicure and fabulous lunch with a glass of Pinot Noir and fresh strawberries with fresh whipped cream on your birthday.