Sketchbook: Chris Piascik brings letters to life

From time to time we share the sketchbooks of artists, designers and illustrators who have captured our attention and admiration. These glimpses from the journals of Chris Piascik reveal a lifelong fascination with the alphabet, lettering and what he terms “overlapping lines.” Piascik designs, sketches, teaches, creates apparel and rides his bikes in Cromwell, Conn.

[Chris Piascik] As long as I can remember, I have been drawing constantly. I learned at an early age that I wanted to be a graphic designer by removing the packaging from the music albums around me and drawing my own.

I didn’t start keeping a regular sketchbook until a couple years ago. Due to my work schedule (teaching at Hartford Art School), the amount of drawing I was doing had started to decline. I decided to make it a point to draw every day. I went out and bought a shiny new sketchbook and some brand new Sharpies to keep myself motivated. As soon I finished my first drawing, I snapped a photo and posted it on my blog. At first I was hesitant to call them Daily Drawings, as I didn’t want to start something I couldn’t keep up with.

The prominence of lettering and hand-drawn type in my work dates back to my childhood … drawing band logos. It began to resurface to a large degree early on in the daily drawing process. I’d sit trying to come up with something to draw while simultaneously listening to the news or music. Quotes would pop out to me, and I would simply illustrate them. During the election of 2008, I used these drawings to highlight issues I thought were important or overlooked.

Another recurring theme in my drawings is the overlapping, loopy, improvised illustrations. I started doing these as a child. Do I sense a pattern? Back then I would really want to draw, but wouldn’t exactly know what I wanted to draw. So, I’d scribble out some overlapping lines and then fill them in with the things I saw. Over the years not much has changed!

Drawing a Q (Daily Drawing 03/36/2010) from Chris Piascik on Vimeo.

At this point I’m nearing my 600th daily drawing. I have a stack of sketchbooks bursting with drawings. These books serve as great resources when I am beginning a new project or painting. I often enjoy looking back at them and seeing what I was thinking about at a certain time.

From Chris Piaschik’s auto-bio: “I am an artist & graphic designer residing in Connecticut. I post daily drawings here Monday through Friday. I also have an apparel company called Print Brigade. I was trained in the black art of sleep deprivation by small men from outer space.”

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