Yesterday I completed my Junk Mail Secret Diary and had enough left over gessoed and painted junk mail pages available to make a second book. I continued with the same process I learned in Carla Sonheim’s Junk Mail Artist’s Book class using my imagination to create drawings that overlapped onto the next page. When the page is turned, parts of the previous drawing ideally become something new, different, and surprising.
It’s tricky. It’s fun. It’s a puzzle worth solving.
Since I wanted to complete a second book while the class is still “live” and people were posting their homework and books over on our flickr site, I just looked around my house and my sketchbooks for images that I could use in the book even though the images wouldn’t necessarily go together.
After I completed all the drawings, I painted selected areas with gesso, then added additional details and shading.
As it turned out, my sketchbooks were a handy source of inspiration. Also using drawings from my own sketch books meant that I was drawing objects I had already drawn at least once, so I could draw them confidently and quickly directly into a real book that I spent hours creating (and didn’t want to mess up). . . A couple of good reasons to draw in a sketchbook on a regular basis.
Fortunately, if we made a drawing mistake that needed fixing, Carla taught us how to patch areas with a piece of prepared junk mail. I had to do a lot of patching with this book, but unless you know where to look, they’re not noticeable. I corrected a mistake on the lower part of the light bulb on page 10 with a square yellow patch. I was surprised to see that it actually looks better with the patch.
As I added the drawings, I jumped around from one section to another, starting in the middle of the book and working my way backwards and forwards. It took awhile to figure out what to do for the front cover. Finally, I unbound the book and added another page to the front of the book after the rest of the book was completed.
The giraffe on page seven was inspired by a sketchbook page that I did last year at the Oakland Zoo. The owl was inspired by some bookends that are much more serious looking. Maybe that’s why he seems so surprised.
I enjoy this process and want to explore it further. With a bit more planning and care, the books could be even more amazing. I love the idea that the junk mail is a free source of material that I could use in many ways, including collage. Meanwhile, I’m collecting more junk mail for another round of painting and drawing.