Friday, August 17, 2012

Finding Inspiration in Retail America

8/16/12 Kuretake Brush Writer, Tombow marker, Stillman & Birn sketchbook
At the risk of sounding un-American, I’m going to say it out loud: I despise shopping malls. Last winter when I was itching for something to sketch but the relentless rain kept me indoors, in desperation I went to Northgate Mall and was deeply uninspired.

The past few days temperatures have been in the 90s, and in a city where almost no one has an air-conditioned home, the heat drove me to the public indoors for sketching as much as the rain does in winter. Once again at Northgate, skeptical as I was, I reminded myself that the job of the artist is to find inspiration, regardless of the subject matter.
8/16/12 Akashiya Sai, Tombow markers

8/16/12 Copic Multiliner SP pen

What I found was plenty of hot, lethargic people like myself seeking air conditioning, which meant that they stayed relatively still. I also had an opportunity to use the brush marker technique I had tried earlier that day at Gasworks Park. Although the mall landscape isn’t quite as daunting as Lake Union, the brush markers gave the scene an abstract beauty that I appreciated more than retail banality.
8/16/12 Akashiya Sai, Tombow markers

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