“This is my sketchbook. It was a random notebook before. Hence it disguises himself and its abilities a bit now. As well it soaks up everything around. So it has a bit of a blue mood today sitting behind broadway’s blue sunglazing in nottingham. You cannot see what it has to show when you only see its outside. But there is a lot in it! you see it almost bursts. Soon it will become grown up. And when you open it you open up a world!”
Photo Credit: Felix Liebig
Felix Liebig calls himself a “storytelling architect”, and he generously sent us his thoughts about how he approaches sketchbooks, and how sketchbooks might be used in schools. We hope to turn some of his ideas into online modules which teachers can use, but in the meantime, we wanted to share his narrative. There are hidden gems within his language which will spark ideas we’re sure. Felix is keen that he’s shares his thoughts so that we can collectively shape them. Help us build upon his narrative and ideas via the reply box below.
Felix Liebig’s “narrative of thoughts”
“find attached my loose script of thoughts about your idea. just grabed what i have in mind already and wrote it down. like in the sketchbook. i see it as a first stage and would like go on working at it together if you are with me.
for me most important with my sketchbook is that i go on and on writing and drawing into it. overlay what i already wrote. i use different colours though. so that is how i see the process of work on a script / narrative …
just read it through and let me know. write inbetween or whatever you like and the story grows.”
so, what are you waiting for?
first of all a sketchbook is a partner. it does not only help you, as well you have to help your sketchbook. if you look after it a bit it will appreciated it.
Why don’t you give it a name?
like a friend or relative your sketchbook likes conversation. and like a real friend it does not mind if you talk complete rubbish. it can bear a lot.
just go ahead with it and take down what comes up.
and now how do you guess you can talk to your sketchbook? chinese, german, pencil-ese, rollerball-ian, english, glue-ish. never mind. you can write or draw or glue or fold … whatever language you speak, it will understand. because a sketchbook is universal. it is everything and nothing. it is what you make of it. it is your world, your friend, your lovelyest doll or your fastest car.
it is a part of you!
even more. you can add accessories to it. like you apply a tattoo to your shoulder or arm, you can stick things into it. like you cut out favorite pictures from a mag, you can make a collage inside your sketchbook. like you hang things upon your ears, you can even knit something onto your sketchbook. etcettera …
as said: your sketchbook can bear a lot and more.
but keep in mind: when you take a page out, then it is not like a hair that grows new when you pull it out. so you should be careful. perhaps it is more like with an arm or leg. you only have one (or two?). so each page is a part of the body of your friend. it has a certain role.
so please please, don’t mess it up! respect it like yourself.
>> Actually this could be some sort of sketchbook commandments. but i would not go so far. I see it more as a directive, a narrative path through fragments that can be illustrated by helpful icons and of which each step is a kind of stop where you (the teachers and the pupils) try imagine (and create real pictures) how to go on. where you consider the next action to take.
> that leeds to more precise thoughts about architecture and narrative:
> let’s imagine every page of the book is a house in the city – or let’s say in the street, where you live.
> every house consists of roof, walls, ceilings, doors, windows, chimneys, …
> in every house there live people that you perhaps know … your neighbour paul smith with whom you gp to school, emma tandill who screams so much, the old lady with the silly face …
> not to forget that there are pets, animals, all sorts of creatures, sometimes at night in your sleep (but don’t panic, once you draw them into your sketchbook they are banned, wicked, believe me!)
> there are most likely cars. you would be pretty lucky if not. so what for example do these cars do? or what do you do with these cars. paint them. scratch them. make scultures from it? (in your sketchbook, I mean!)
> but back to architecture:
> granny perhaps is always sitting in that old chair with the ears and loads of cusions under and around her. but there is a table as well on which you often find a cake or biscuits and tea and juicy fruit juice …
> where about is the liveliest space in your house?
> for your own house each room should probably get another page. so then you can scroll through your rooms. you can stick real things to it. use it as a template to plan your next renovation. make a collage of your actual surroundings in a room and stick it into your book …”