A wonderful festive gift from Lydia Thornley. She shares the story of her Christmas sketchwalk. Perhaps 26ers would like to do their own seasonal sketchwalks with words?
This year, by way of a Christmas greeting, I decided to sketch London places with Christmassy names and make them into a little book. The project turned out to be more complex, and more interesting, than I’d thought…
The sketchwalk is made of several smaller sketchwalks, after meetings, between errands and at weekends, based on the oddest online map search I’ve ever done, on words alone. I drew live, then made iPad sketches from my originals, for production and for email and social media, timelapses.
When you’re drawing for a festival, you can’t be late. So, as postal deliveries became more uncertain, print became PDF. Which was handy – because having started, led by a curious mind and no sense of direction, my sketchwalk grew. A strangely Jugendstil police station, mid-century stained glass, wonderful music, the architectural detail that always rewards looking up…
People, too, were surprising, the most interested in the most low-key places, while in London’s commercial heartlands I sketched invisibly while passers-by went about their business.
And there was beauty in the ordinary. Wheelie bins became festive colour, a functional slip-road a view to the pantomime.
In this, then, have been all the ingredients of a good creative project: curiosity, an open-minded approach, adaptability, knowledge, awareness of time, random bits of learning and joy in the unexpected.