The best sketches always occur in the worst places

There’s something about a blank piece of expensive paper that screams ‘Woah! Be careful! Plan that out before you touch it! Keep your best rubber handy!’ and other unhelpful comments for the poised artist. The best paper can be quite arrogant and mouthy like that. However, I have always found that if you give me a scrap of rubbish from the waste-paper basket, covered in fold lines and staple marks, and then hand me a biro, something far more free thinking and effective comes out.

Yes, I’m a fan of labouring for hours with a quiver of excellent pencils over a good pre-meditated bit of art, but sometimes, there’s a space for something more immediate. That’s where the biro and scrap paper come in. Gone are the worries about ‘ruining’ that premium bit of paper, and here instead is the notion that rubbish can only ever be improved (and if not then nobody need ever see it since it was in the bin anyway!). Hurrah for liberation through scrap paper!

 

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