Artist Journal: 5000 Pages of Beginnings
It was Paul Gauguin’s beautiful journals that got me started. I was first shown this work at the Musée du Louvre, while designing the signage for I.M. Pei's expansion there in the late 1980’s. The books contained drawings, personal notes, collages, and paintings. These revealed Gauguin’s very private life and were not meant for public view, making the experience of turning the pages even more extraordinary.
It was the “treasure” I saw there that first inspired me to begin keeping my own journals. In these books, I make art, log memories and chronicle the world we live in. These are like a laboratory for endless experimentation.
Over time, I realized that the very process of routinely putting something on paper, “locked” it in my creative database, because it surfaced later, at just the right time for just the right project.
Sometimes I use these books to sketch a specific design concept for a client. I challenge myself to solve the problem by capturing the essence of an idea in a two-page spread. The constraint is frightening but also exciting.
There’s nothing very precious here, nothing very finished, but it’s all very personal. For the last twenty-five years, these “beginnings” have been an essential source of ideas that bring my artistic energy to a flash point.