Thursday, May 31, 2007
I've been cavalier with artwork over the years - once it's been scanned and printed I'm careless about looking after the originals. They seem to get lost or dumped in house moves, and I don't suppose I possess a tenth of what I've actually produced. It doesn't seem particularly precious, and I can always look at it in what I consider to be its final form - the books or adverts or whatever it was intended for.
I do wish I'd kept a few roughs however. These are the drawings that nobody ever sees, ideas in their first stages, sometimes to be developed into the final piece but more often slung into the bin. It's always very difficult to retain the freshness and life of a rough drawing when working it up into a more polished state. Something gets lost in the transition somehow. I probably shouldn't say it publicly, but I almost like the first little sketch for the Winter Wood cover better than the finished article.
Working on a recent book about Leonardo da Vinci, I found that his thumbnail drawings of tanks and helicopters and parachutes gave far more insight into his genius and inventiveness than the great commissioned works. It's amazing that such doodles have survived, but how many more must have been thrown away? Maybe some enterprising apprentice kept a few of them and we'll someday discover that Leonardo invented the mobile phone and the X Box along with everything else.