Skotchbook by Jim Stoten

This our second edition publication under the umbrella of Unseen Sketchbooks.

EDITION 2 is focused on the illustrator Jim Stoten, an illustrator based in London, UK and has developed a unique style and approach to his work. Jim has been commissioned by an impressive list of clients including MTV, Habitat, Levi’s, Urban Outfitters and The Guardian.

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Skotchbook is a selection of pages from my personal sketchbooks, which I keep in my coat pocket at all times and have done for the last 10-15 years. I draw it in every day. Within the pages are comic strips that attempt to make sense of my own thoughts, feelings and reactions to the World as well as poems, hand drawn type, song lyrics, memorable quotes from films, TV, debate forums on all topics and interview chat shows from the 1970’s and 80’s. There are also observational drawings from train journeys, exhibitions and visits to the pub, as well random drawings of imaginary people, architectural forms, modes of transportation and animals.

My sketchbook has a function much like a valve on a steam driven engine. Things go in there that do not, cannot and perhaps should not, go anywhere else. My work as a commercial and editorial illustrator does not always allow the creative freedom to transpose these thoughts and ideas into work pertaining to a brief of any kind, and so my sketchbook provides a balanced counter weight to the prescriptive and sometimes even instructional nature of commercial briefs.

At the same time as being quite separate from my work as an Illustrator, my sketchbook can sometimes provide inspiration for personal projects in a number of fields. On a number of occasions, too many mention, I have written songs based on conversations in comic strips, created products to sell on my site, inspired by drawings done on a train and even, as was the case this year, based an entire body work on a phrase written just before going to bed – Dada Jimbo – my first solo show in New York City.

Without my sketchbook, the varying parts that make up my creative output through the years, would not exist. It all begins in there, where I am allowed to do whatever I want, whenever I want, and I am absolutely over the moon to be able to share some of it with you in this book.

About Jim Stoten…

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