Thursday, 19 July 2012

Manuel Estrada: to write or draw, that is the question

Where Ideas are Born. Juggler´s Sketchbooks. was such an inspiring exhibition. I left feeling drunk! Purely from excitement and a burning desire to draw and create! In the beautiful lofty space of the fourth floor at MUDE this was the showcase of Spanish graphic designer Manuel Estrada. I often wonder whether I should have done a graphic design course, text, font, layout and picture assembly is something that makes me go all ooooooh wobbly! There's nothing to say this desire can't be a fuel for my work on the Dec Arts course though and if surface is where I'm headed then it's all good for that anyway! So, the exhibition....

Walking into it you are first met by a wall of open sketchbooks which you are encouraged to flick through - how brilliant!

 Then there is an engaging display of sketches next to finalized logos and mood boards:

This exhibition is all about ideas...
Such an amazing space!

involving process
showcasing illustration for the books of Jose Saramango,
which reminds me...
I am yet to put up a post about the Matisse exhibition I went to recently...
I will follow this up soon..

It was nice to see drawings for the collages too

A large part of the exhibition was given to his book covers to which Estrada says:
A book's cover is a window through which we glimpse the books content. A good cover should not only serve to help to sell a book. Once read, the cover has to be remembered as a true, memorable and accurate interpretation of its content
 I liked an awful lot of them, but this was one of my favourites, I love the simplicity:

Many of the covers were displayed on sheets hanging from the ceiling. The original drawing was on one side, the final cover on the other - it was a really effective display

others were in display cases with the sketchbook workings
to the side, this worked well too.
Estrada talks of distilling ideas:
We have to remove the excess on paper. Simplicity as a distillation of the complex. As a reflection of the most primary content of form.
 I love that, 'removing the excess on paper', I find it similar with this blog - allowing me a space to expell all of my discoveries, interests and ideas. One line at a time, in some kind of order, to then assimilate over time and make a new again.

Again I loved the words written around the information boards! There's just something about the way they are written that I cannot do justice if I attempt my own interpretation. Like the marks of a painting or drawing themselves, it's better if I share them, rather than missing out in my poor adaptation!
The source of the creative impulse is a mystery. Ideas can come unexpectedly, anywhere and at any time - Paul Rand
 And to finish, oddly, with the introduction to the whole show! In keeping with my post on Eduardo Salavisa and sketchbooks in general, you might notice an obsessive theme:

We can always see Manuel Estrada accompanied by a small sketchbook where he jots down words and drawings, makes pictures, cuts out and sticks a variety of materials. And because creativity is a fleeting phenomenon, it needs to be grasped in the moment.
Where Ideas are Born. Juggler´s Sketchbooks brings together Manuel Estrada's most personal, unpublished work through his visual diaries and sketchbooks which show us the graphic designer's creative process.
On the journey we find a juggler whose graphic pirouettes weave fascinating images that help to simulate our collective imagination

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