Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Little Sketchbook of Fears

It all started with this great idea by the Art House Co-op: The Sketchbook Project: a constantly evolving library of artists' sketchbooks from across the globe.

Art House Co-op is an independent Brooklyn-based company that organizes global, collaborative art projects.

I have to thank my wonderful friend Virpi Oinonen for letting me know about this project. And for encouraging me to deliver something before the deadline :)
It was only a 32-page sketchbook, but I was so close to giving up because of my fear of deadlines! :)

If you have an account with the Art House Co-op you can check my digitised entry for the Sketchbook Project.
The original will join The Sketchbook Project 2012 Tour and then will be part of the Brooklyn Art Library Permanent Collection.

Also, you can see all the 32 pages, plus 16 extra I drew later after being even more encouraged by my lovely old friend Cecilia Latella here: The Sketchbook of Fears on deviantArt

I am planning have all the pages printed on a A6 booklet as well.

I really enjoyed working on this concept, and I guess this is the most important thing.
Still, as usual, feedback would be very appreciated.

Saturday, 17 March 2012


Father's Day and Mother's Day are just another very clever marketing idea, but much less annoying than Valentine's Day and Women's Day.

Admittedly, most of us tend to give what they have for granted. I am usually too busy moaning about my life in London to remember how important my folks have been and still are.

They might have made mistakes, like all the parents in the world, but they have always been there for me even in the worst times of my life.

I didn't make their life easy. I gave them a lot of worries. I still do.

I've been quite unlucky in some aspects of my life, but every time I think of my family I realise how grateful I should be.

I know this post is going to be very personal, but I want to share with you a couple of things about my parents that I find very sweet. Maybe they are a little mental, but hey, they are my parents after all :)

1. Since I moved to London (August 2006), my mum has been giving me a miscall first thing every morning. When I switch on the mobile phone, I receive a text informing me that she called me. I know it's her way to tell me she is thinking of me. At the beginning I tried to convince her to stop, but now I get worried if I don't receive that miscall :)

2. A couple of years ago, I met this professional cartoonist and I wanted to show him my work.
I asked my dad if he could send me some scanned images of greeting cards I made and sent to the family over the years.
My family has never been very supportive of my passion for drawing, but they love the cards I send them.
Anyway. The following morning, I found out that my dad during the night scanned as many cards as he could find. He sent me about 50 images by email. I was really moved.

my loved ones

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Life Drawing Salon

I don't know if I am good at drawing or not. The only thing I know is that I love doing it, and that people are the subject I love drawing most (if not the only one).

I have never been uncomfortable with nudity, and I find it a little awkward that there are people my age who look embarrassed when they find out I go draw naked people. Oh well, for once, it's really not my problem!

One of the things I am so grateful to London for, is the massive quantity of life drawing sessions available in any part of the city. This way, you can easily drop by after a long day in the office.

In the last 2 years, I try to go regularly to the Life Drawing Salon, next to Bethnal Green Station, every Tuesday evening. The room is quite small, sometimes packed, but it's worth it :)

Nils, the organiser, chooses a theme and a soundtrack for each session, and this is probably one of the main reason why I will keep attending these sessions unless I need to move too far away.

Moreover, I like the environment. Many of the regular attendees are really nice and talented people. I love comparing our drawings at the end of the session, often in the local pub :)

Life Drawing - Francesca Mancuso

The beauty and complexity of the human body will never bore me. Even less because the models change every week, and they are all so different and unique.

When I try to sketch the poses, especially the more complicated ones, that last usually 2 or 5 minutes, this is a rare moment of peace for my brain.

All my obsessive thoughts are still there, wild and free, but in the background, like the telly when you do the housework. For a little while, I forget who I am, I ignore my worries, I totally enjoy what I am doing.

This is the closest thing to meditation I have ever experienced and I truly love it.

Life Drawing - Francesca Mancuso