Pixel Shavings: Exploring Memory by Hazel Mitchell
From: Pixel Shavings
October 18, 2012 at 11:25AM
Lately I’ve been actively working on remembering my childhood. My main motivation for this (as my career in children’s illustrations goes along and I find myself illustrating characters in different situations) is I that find myself thinking – ‘what would I have done or felt in that scenario?’
I’ve never been a diarist. And especially not as a child. Life for me was somewhat topsy turvy and I never felt the need to write it down! When I learned to draw and record what I saw … that was a kind of diary. But so few of those drawings remain. The memories, the places, the people, I am sure they were all there in the lines and marks I made. Just as they are now … when I look at a drawing in a sketch pad it brings back what I was thinking or feeling and hearing and smelling. It’s like a little memory capsule.
Then I read Linda Barry’s books ‘Picture This ‘ and ‘What is it?’. Both a kind of stream of consciousness laid down in what at first seems a random way, and then, you begin to see into Lynda’s mind. In the repetition of the characters, the marks, the train of thought. I was hooked!
Writer’s, of course, often use exercises to jog memories, to reconnect with childhood thoughts and feelings. But, as I rooted around on line to find similar ways of jogging the mind, I found not so much not so much for illustrators.
I began my own experiment and call it ‘Look Back in Candour’. It’s more like a snapshot than a diary … and sometimes the snapshots lead me somewhere I wasn’t expecting. At times the memories are hard to recall, occasionally sad, but often happy. There is so much there in my own story, it’s like dipping into a fathomless reservoir. Already it’s bringing new significance to my other projects. Alongside the drawings I have begun to make some abstract notes.
And the best thing? I am finding there are story ideas in there a-plenty!!
You can find it online at https://lookbackincandour.wordpress.com/.