One of my favourite illustrators is Quentin Blake. In fact, he's one of my first ever favourite illustrators having grown up with his memorable drawings, which perfectly brought to life Matilda, The Twits, Fantastic Mr Fox and all of Roald Dahl's glorious characters.
I love his style of drawing and painting for the way it flows, moves and dances on the page, the emotion it evokes, the imagination it sparks and the sketchy nature of it really makes my heart glow. I think the latter is what clinches it for me; it's like Quentin has just handed me one of his drawings, the pencil lead, ink and paint still fresh on the paper.
Quentin's book, The Life of Birds, I picked up many moons ago in an art gallery in London when I believe I saw one of his exhibitions. I couldn't resist those drawings and so the book quickly became a favourite of mine, which I treasure to this day.
The book takes you on a rather beautiful journey through stages, experiences and feelings that we can all relate to in life. It is done, quite simply, through drawings of birds with human expressions, behaviour and movement, making them easy to relate to. The titles to each drawing are listed in an index at the back of the book. I like that. It allows you to take what your mind sees in those drawings, without an image being formed through words first.
For me the drawings evoke great feelings and memories. They trigger a need to create a story about each and every bird character, maybe a poem or a drawing too. Getting such a reaction from one book always feel rather magical.
With this in mind when I picked the book up again recently, I decided to get the pen and paper out and draw some birds. I wasn't looking to draw like Quentin's famous style but just to draw, the only goal being to draw a bird or two.
This lead me to picking up some of my old bird guides and picking out a couple of birds. I chose the Redshank and the Oyster Catcher. Both beautiful, elegant birds. Here are those drawings.
It felt good following the creative inspiration through and actually picking up a tool and creating something. Drawing isn't something I do very often but when I do I feel incredibly relaxed and completely focused on what I'm doing; in the zone.
As that's a healthy mindset, I plan to do more drawing to share on my blog. I'm not looking for appreciation or rounds of applause. I just feel that by saying I'm going to share my drawings with you, then I will actually sit down and draw more often. So, there you go. If you don't see any drawings over the next year, you have every right to say, "but Joanna, you promised us drawings!".
And now I want to hear from you! Have you read, seen, heard, done something that has triggered some creative inspiration and lead to you creating something? What was it? How did it make you feel? Or are you about to create something? What is it?
I'd love to hear all about it because sharing our creative adventures is something worth talking about. So, do come and tell me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or in the comments field below.