What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'sketchbook')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: sketchbook, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 1,104
1. HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 14

HoHoDooDa fight

The first rule of Fight Clause is: You do not talk about Fight Clause.

Why not take a stroll on over here for links to see what the rest of the HoHoDooDa doodlers are doing.

Oh, and if you are wondering what the heck HoHoDooDa is, check this out.


1 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 14, last added: 12/16/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
2. HoHoDooDa Day 13 (late)

o holey knight

Alright, I realize these moths would have to be iron and steel eating moths to put holes in armor… but hey, creative license.

Why not take a stroll on over here for links to see what the rest of the HoHoDooDa doodlers are doing.

Oh, and if you are wondering what the heck HoHoDooDa is, check this out.


2 Comments on HoHoDooDa Day 13 (late), last added: 12/15/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
3. The Next Stage: Tagging all my Sketches




Now that the basic structure of my sketching book is sorted, I have to go back to all the piles of sketchbooks which John and I waded through when I first got started on the project in the summer. Of course, there are a few new ones now too.


Back then, I had a rough idea of the categories I was trying to illustrate, and used colour-coded bookmarks to help with that. Now the book's structure has been fine-tuned, I'm ready to make the selections, but I have to find a way of shortlisting from the hundreds of possible sketches, buried in nearly 90 books. 


The plan we hatched was to work through the images we bookmarked last time, taking quick snaps on my phone, so I can see them all together. I used post-it notes to tag drawings against the sections of the book I had in mind. Trouble is, the tags needed transferring to the photos I'd taken, or I'd just end up with a bucketful of meaningless snaps, which wouldn't be much better than the piles of sketchbooks! Then there was the complication that most sketches could potentially work in various sections of the book. Oh dear...

There were so many images in play, I had to find a system that would be efficient, without being too time-consuming. John came to the rescue and downloaded Picasa: photo-album software, which lets you tag your images. 


I have been working through the sketchbooks, numbering each sketch as I photograph it and logging it in a book, along with the number of the sketchbook (so we can find the sketch again when it comes to scanning), and any tags which might apply. The photos are then uploaded to the computer in batches and quickly renamed with the two reference numbers. 

While I am snapping the next batch and scribbling in my book, poor John has the unenviable task of adding all the tags in Picasa. I'm still using the post-it notes, to speed up finding specific sketches if they make the grade and we need to scan them in:


The system is not as time-consuming as it sounds and we did the lot in a few days (though an emergency-dash to Staples had to be made half way through, for more post-its).

The tagging system is brilliant, as I can now pull together all the sketches of noses, or contour-drawing, or speed-sketching at the touch of a button. It's going to make the next stage much, much easier. Phew.

0 Comments on The Next Stage: Tagging all my Sketches as of 12/13/2014 3:12:00 AM
Add a Comment
4. HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 10,11 and 12

Santa fro zen

Yep, I’m counting all three characters again. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, stop on over here for links to see what the rest of the HoHoDooDa doodlers are doing.

Oh, and if you are wondering what the heck HoHoDooDa is, check this out.


2 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 10,11 and 12, last added: 12/13/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
5. HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 8 (late)

HoHoDooDa hornamint

Ok, I know they’re actually antlers, but antler-ments just didn’t really work.

Why not take a stroll on over here for links to see what the rest of the HoHoDooDa doodlers are doing.

Oh, and if you are wondering what the heck HoHoDooDa is, check this out.


7 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 8 (late), last added: 12/12/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
6. HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 5, 6 and 7

carol of the bulls

Holiday frivolity is already claiming doodle time and it may just be a bunch of bull, but I’m counting each character as a separate day in an effort to catch up. Yep, just making up the rules as I go along!

So hey, why not take a stroll on over here for links to see what the rest of the HoHoDooDa doodlers are doing.

Oh, and if you are wondering what the heck HoHoDooDa is, check this out.


6 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 5, 6 and 7, last added: 12/11/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
7. HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 4

Spruced Up

…and then, as if by magic, Bruce Sprucington Treeworthy wobbled impossibly into a stately bow.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Looks like we have a few masochists joining HoHoDooDa this year. Below are the names and links of said participants (at least any who have left their name and link to where they are posting their doodles, in the comments here.) If I’ve missed anyone or your link is not working or any other proof of my heinous lack of organizational skills, please let me know and I’ll do my best to fix it.

Let’s get doodling!

For more HoHoDooDa info please go here.

HoHoDooDa 2014 Participants:

Heahter Soodak

Roberta Baird

Pam Tanzey

Bobbie Dacus

Heather LittleBearies

June Goulding


5 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 4, last added: 12/5/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
8. HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 3

cockroach

HOT SHOT ROACH & AUNT KILLER

Inspired by a misspelled Home Depot sign. I know, not very holiday-ish, but hey.

What is HoHoDooDay you ask? Check this out.


6 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 3, last added: 12/4/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
9. HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 2

Fleas Navidad HoHoDooDa

Nothing like a holiday pun to start things off, eh?

What is HoHoDooDa? Check it out here!


9 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 2, last added: 12/5/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
10. HoHoDooDay 2014 Day 1

HoHoDooDa hedgehogs

Announcing (last minute as is tradition) the beginning of HoHoDooDa 2014 (or Holiday Doodle A Day!)

As nutty as November was, what with PiBoIdMo (thank you so much Tara Lazar!) and SkADaMo 2014, it was just what the doctor ordered as far as a shot of creative, mojo-inducing stress.

A few Decembers ago, to keep the momentum going, my fellow illustrator pals, the talented Marion Eldridge and Laura Jacobson along with myself, engaged in yet another month-long sketch-a-thin which we dubbed HoHoDooDa, short for Holiday Doodle a Day (hmmm, not really that much shorter. Is it?) We did our best to create a holiday-themed doodle a day… or even every other day… or as often as humanly possible, throughout December.

What with the holidays and all, I admit it’s a little crazy and there may be some gnashing of teeth and tears shed, but overall, I’m sure it will be a blast and very rewarding, as it was last year. So, doin’ it again this year!

Just like SkADaMo, anyone who wants to join in is more than welcome! Regardless of what winter holiday you celebrate!

Rules for HoHoDooDa:

“What are the rules for HoHoDooDa?” You may ask.

1. THERE ARE NO RULES! NO SIGN UP! NO REGISTRATION! NO GIVEAWAYS OR GUEST POSTERS!  No regulations, themes, daily words, Facebook pages or anything else resembling organization. Just lots of holidaydoodling, commenting back and forth and hopefully lots of inspiration and craft honing!
HoHoDooDa Doodlers are scoff-laws and Mavricks! (Really, I’m just not that organized.) The only code we live by this month is Doodle! Doodle! Doodle! Doodle everyday from December 1 to December 31, or at least try to.
You may not Doodle every single day, but by golly you will have tried and you’ll have more doodles in your sketchbook at the end of December than you might have otherwise.
So, there’s that!

2. If you send me a link to your blog, (or wherever you are posting your HoHoDooDa doodles) I will keep a running list of all the participants and their links on my blog. This way we can all keep in touch and root each other on and enjoy the sugarplum fruits of each other’s doodle labors.

If you post to your blog it helps if you tag your illustrations HoHoDooDa or create a HoHoDooDa category. If you are posting to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram it helps to add a hashtag (#HohoDooDa.)

It has been my experience that Facebook’s hashtags are not all that reliable, which is why I decided to go back to listing any link you give me.

If there are any broken links, bad links, I forgot anyone, misspelled anyone’s name or any other heinous act was performed, please let me know and I’ll do my best to correct it.

3. Smile, this is fun!

Doodle on my fellow HoHoDooDa Doodlers, (should there be any!)


8 Comments on HoHoDooDay 2014 Day 1, last added: 12/4/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
11. Mr. J. Gooseberry

 

0 Comments on Mr. J. Gooseberry as of 12/2/2014 5:17:00 PM
Add a Comment
12. SkADaMo 2014 Last Day!!!

skadamo-button-2014-monkey-winner-450

Wooo hooooo! We did it, y’all!

First of all I want to give a hearty thanks to all the folks who visited my blog, Facebook, or Twitter to support and root me on. Your comments, retweets, shares and ‘likes’ were encouraging, often funny and clever and always more than welcome. Thanks also for doing the same for my fellow SkADaMoers. You guys made the journey all the sweeter and kept me going when I was tempted to simply sit around eating a whole bag of chips while watching time wasting kitty antics on YouTube.

I may have only completed 19 sketches in 30 days, but that’s 19 more sketches than I would have done otherwise.

In fact, to all my fellow SkADaMoers:

You decided to step a bit out of your comfort zone this November, dip your toe into a challenge. Maybe you did one sketch, or 5, 10 or all 30. Whatever number you managed to do… You. Are. A. Winner!

Why? “Why am I a winner no matter how many sketches I finished”, you may ask? Well, because you took a positive, productive step toward revving up your creative engines this month. Perhaps your sketchbook is a little fuller, your blog has a few more posts. Maybe you killed it and did 30 sketches or more! Maybe for those who participated in PiBoIdMoor even if you didn’t, you have some great picture book ideas percolating  now or some great new ideas for a painting or some other type of super cool project. Maybe because you dipped your toe into this challenge you’ll be more toned up to jump into something even more challenging with both feet! Whatever the case may be, you did it and that is fantastic! Good for all of you!

You rock. Take a winner badge!

SkADaMo button 2014 monkey winner

Now go on and enjoy the rest of your holiday season, feeling a bit more energized. Maybe you’ll take a rest from sketching every single day, maybe you’ll continue do a wee bit every day…

OR…

Maybe you’re a masochist like myself and you’ll join the HoHoDooDa (Holiday Doodle a Day) fun that December brings (starts tomorrow, or any day you can join. Of course the sooner the merrier.)

More about the fourth annual HoHoDooDa later today. For now congratulations SkADaMoers! You kicked November’s butt!

And thanks again to everyone who supported us and rooted us on. You guys are winners as well. Take a badge!


5 Comments on SkADaMo 2014 Last Day!!!, last added: 12/2/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
13. A Few More Sketchbook Pages

I've been busy. I've even gone on a couple of short trips recently, to get things in order and to meet up with family. So I'm a bit behind ... the slow internet connection doesn't help much but it seems to be behaving today, so am taking advantage and posting a few more pages from the sketchbook ...

 

Sketchbook-Crow-Pitcher-by-Floating-Lemons

 

This (very sketchy) illustration was based on Aesop's Fable, The Crow and the Pitcher. The crow is standing on a little booklet that tells you the story but if you'd like to read one of the (many) versions online, you can find it here.

 

Sketchbook-Crow-Pitcher-2-by-Floating-Lemons

 

And here are some 3D pieces I've worked on, a woven case for the ketupat (Malaysian rice is cooked in this for festive ocassions, read more here), and some metal-work that I thoroughly enjoyed. Might make a pendant out of one -- or all -- of those.

 

Sketchbook-Ketupat-by-Floating-Lemons

SKetchbook-Metalwork-by-FLoating-Lemons

 

Yes, the theme for the moment is shoes. Well, sort of. More on that later. Meanwhile, have a fantastic week.

I'll be posting the final "I Choose" free printable next Saturday, and that will be available (along with the previous 11 from 2014) till the end of December to all subscribers of the Floating Lemons monthly newsletter. After which it will be gone, and I'll be thinking up something new for you for 2015. If you'd like to sign up for the newsletter and the free printables, just click here.

Add a Comment
14. Day 30 - wolves (final day)

sketchbook studies of wolves

sketchbook studies of wolves

Day 30 (final day)
Topic - wolves continued
 

I read that the Latin roots of the word satisfaction mean "enough action". I must have done enough drawing the past month because I feel pretty satisfied. I even had to take an emergency trip to the shops to buy another sketchbook. Holding a completed sketchbook feels good, it somehow seems much heavier.
 

I hope you enjoyed following my personal challenge. If you did then please like and share with your art-loving friends over on my facebook page here. Thanks for all of your support. Kind wishes to you all!

0 Comments on Day 30 - wolves (final day) as of 11/30/2014 9:05:00 AM
Add a Comment
15. Yahoo - I Got my Grant from the Leverhulme Trust!!


In August I was approached my a professor at Manchester University, asking if I would be interested in doing a residency with the Sociology Department at The Morgan Centre. They had discovered that The Leverhulme Trust was offering grants of £15,000 to fund projects where artists work in partnership with non-art institutions. It's a wonderful idea and I was excited to be asked.

We spent September writing the bid between us, trying to get it just right. The idea is that I will be a sketching fly-on-the-wall in their department for a full academic year, in particular recording key research projects. It's especially interesting to be doing this now, as sociologists have been thinking a lot lately about different, less impersonal ways in which to gather and record data. The team at The Morgan Center are all really excited about the project and the possibilities for the future. They are thinking of writing a paper on me!


Anyway, the BRILLIANT news is that I just got a letter from the trust, saying we got the money! I was told the decision wouldn't come through until around Christmas, so it was totally unexpected. I was pretty nervous opening the letter (vague memories of A Level results...).

The actual work won't kick in until late next year unfortunately, as we wanted the project to encompass a full academic year but, from October 2015, I will be doing my reportage-sketching for 2 days a week and I can't wait - it sounds so interesting! You can read a bit more about the specific projects I'll be sketching on my last post about it.

0 Comments on Yahoo - I Got my Grant from the Leverhulme Trust!! as of 11/30/2014 3:04:00 AM
Add a Comment
16. Day 29 - wolves

quick grab of wolf studies in my sketchbook
Day 29
Topic - Wolves

A fun topic but my time is short today, so here's a quick grab. 

0 Comments on Day 29 - wolves as of 11/29/2014 3:02:00 AM
Add a Comment
17. Day 28 - kangaroos

drawing studies of kangaroos

drawing studies of kangaroos

drawing studies of kangaroos
Day 28
Topic - kangaroos

Today was another one of those days I wanted to keep my sketchbook to myself. This challenge has been both good and bad. On the one hand it has got me practicing drawing a lot more consistently, but on the other it has obliged me to show drawings I'm not exactly proud of. I do enjoy looking at the unedited sketchbooks of other artists though, so here's to the spirit of openness.

(Ken Hultgren studies are noted, otherwise they were from photo reference.)

0 Comments on Day 28 - kangaroos as of 11/28/2014 8:08:00 AM
Add a Comment
18. Singing my song

The habit of making art is wonderful. Sharing it is sublime.”

Danny Gregory, artist, author of The Creative License and other wonderful books on illustrated sketchbook-keeping

Add a Comment
19. The Urban Sketcher by Marc Taro Holmes



My postman rang the doorbell this afternoon, dragging me all the way down 2 flights of stairs from my attic studio. Nevertheless, I love it when that happens, as it means a parcel. Sure enough, he handed over a big brown package for me to sign for. The paperwork said it was from the USA, which gave me a clue.

I opened it with glee and I was right - it was the new Urban Sketching book by my friend Marc Taro Holmes:


Marc promised to send me a copy to review a while ago, but his publishers have taken their time sending it out and I had almost forgotten it was coming, which made it all the more exciting to finally be unwrapping it.

Unfortunately,I am too busy right now to get stuck into it: I must force myself to get on with some work instead, but I thought I would show you, to whet your appetite.

A quick flick through was enough to tell me that it would be good. Marc is such a highly skilled sketcher, I'd expect nothing less. I always knew him as a brilliant watercolourist but, when I spent time with him in Brazil this summer, I saw him in action with a pen for the first time. How irritating to discover that he is a brilliant speed-draughtsman too :-D


Anyway, this book covers both, which is great. I will look at it properly and let you know what I make of it as soon as I can!

0 Comments on The Urban Sketcher by Marc Taro Holmes as of 11/24/2014 2:50:00 AM
Add a Comment
20. Learning in Public

pens

Something I think is wonderful about social media is the way so many creative people share their efforts and progress in various arts. I don’t just mean professional artists sharing their finished work, though of course that too is a great delight—this abundance of gorgeous, polished photography and painting and stories and poems and quilts and handwovens and other creations we find displayed all over the internet. Just Google artist sketchbook blog and you could be absorbed for weeks upon weeks.

But even more so, I appreciate the working-it-out pieces, the I’m-undertaking-something-new-and-here’s-how-it’s-going-so-far posts. Years ago, a bunch of us were doing this with quilting—posting pictures of our blocks, sometimes the first ones we’d ever made, crooked seams and all. You see it often with knitting and sewing and all kinds of handcrafts. Look what I made! I know it isn’t perfect, but… Sometimes shy, sometimes fearless, always inspiring, this sharing of incremental progress.

Even people who are accomplished in one aspect of an art sometimes do what I’ve come to think of as “learning in public” when they undertake another aspect of it—a kind of unabashedness I thoroughly respect, since it means admitting to gaps in skills or knowledge, but speaks to a desire to always be learning, always be stretching one’s abilities. I think about the very wise advice of that great sage, Ms. Frizzle: “Take chances! Make mistakes!” Our mistakes are what spark growth.

Certainly you may challenge yourself in private, and do plenty of chance-taking and mistake-making without an audience. Most people do, I think. Or they do it in the context of a relatively intimate setting: a knitting club, an improv class, a private piano lesson. I understand that, I respect that desire for privacy. But it makes me all the more grateful to see someone willing to fumble along in public, so to speak, encouraging the rest of us by posting rookie work online. Then, too, you create an archive of progress, not just for yourself but for future students of the art.

Lisa Congdon, a very accomplished artist, decided to improve her lettering skills by posting a handlettered image on her blog every day for a year. Every day of 2012, she shared her work. About a hundred days into the project, she wrote:

Hand lettering everyday is a lot more challenging than I thought it would be. Some days it feels really fun. Some days it feels like a chore (and I have to redo something 5 times to get it as right as I can). I do like the discipline of the process. When I did my first daily project in 2010, I felt the same way. The daily encouragement from people who read my blog and follow me on twitter also helps tremendously!

Artist Jennifer Orkin Lewis (I’ve posted about her before) does a daily 30-minute painting in her sketchbook and posts each page on Instagram. They are a feast for the eyes, let me tell you. In an interview with Lisa Congdon, Jennifer said, “I decided to post them all on Instagram to hold myself accountable to painting everyday.” I think there’s a lot to be said for using a blog or other public medium to help yourself stick to a goal—spurred on both by the sense of accountability Jennifer describes, and the encouragement and support Lisa speaks of.

***

I wrote the above more than a week ago and left it sitting in drafts because—despite everything I said up there—I personally feel really shy about sharing my rookie drawing and painting efforts. (Confession: the one time I went to a karaoke party, I was dying to get up and sing—and would have died before I’d have volunteered.)

This morning Tammy Garcia posted the following at Daisy Yellow:

When I started drawing I didn’t know that I would or could get better. I thought that people were either born with innate drawing talent or they were not. Perhaps they skipped the queue. But the truth for me has been that my coordination and control have improved over the years. If you are having trouble getting the pen to do what you want it to do. Maybe you just need to draw more lines.

When I started drawing in about 2008, I was an accountant – a financial analyst – with no particular drawing skill set. I started drawing doodly lines simply to pass the time while my kids were doing stuff. I drew in moleskine journals. On airplanes, at swimming lessons, while the kids splashed in the tub, at Starbucks and book stores.

The boxes looked like wonky kites. Parallel lines intersected instead. Circles looked like cracked eggs.

But looking back, I can see that every time I challenged myself to try something new {what about a mandala without any curved lines? what about ivy leaves that cover each page? what about a mandala where the lines focus on negative space? what about a new alphabet?} I made a step forward. In understanding, in pen control, in art. With trial & error & practice, I now know how hard to press, how to move my arm, my hand, to get a reasonable facsimile of a straight line. I can draw curves. I still can’t draw great faces, but I believe that one day I will.

(Read the rest—there’s a lot more including a list of ways to improve your line work.)

Tammy teaches online art classes and sends out regular art-journaling prompts that inspire masses of people. What a delight to see her discussing her (relatively recent) learning curve. I was nodding excitedly as I read along, because I’ve been drawing lines almost obsessively ever since taking Lisa Congdon’s Creativebug course in early October—pages and pages of scallops or triangles or short parallel lines in interlocking patterns. It’s meditative and relaxing, a good busying-of-the-hands for me when I want to think for a bit. But mostly I’ve been doing it simply for the pure pleasure of feeling the line. Of making my pen do what I want it to do. Of figuring out, bit by bit, how to do it better.

varsity

Now Rilla and I are watching all these Koosje Koene drawing videos and I’m trying to push a little farther. This month my sketchbook is full of staplers and tape dispensers and colored pencils—whatever’s lying around on my desk when I sit down to draw. I’m working on watercolor, too. SO MUCH TO LEARN. Scott gets cross with me when I start pointing out all the flaws in my work—he thinks I’m way too hard on myself, being a novice and all—but I remind him that as professional writers, our entire day is laced with editing and revising—the constant practice of seeking out places in our writing that could be made better, stronger, zingier, lovelier, fresher, truer, something-er. I don’t feel pained about cataloguing the ways a drawing isn’t there yet. I enjoy it, actually. Especially since reading that Ira Glass quote and recognizing that it’s my “killer taste” that allows me to see the weaknesses in my own work.

mwileytomatoes

Because at the same time that I’m self-critiquing, I’m also feeling a tremendous sense of pleasure in having a Finished Thing I Made. This was a bit of a revelation I had the other day after I painted these tomatoes from my garden. It’s my first real attempt at a proper watercolor. And even as I was scrutinizing its shortcomings, I felt giddy: there it is. This thing I made. In one sitting! I’ve been working on my current novel for four years. Even books I’ve written quickly took months—and then another year or more to reach publication day.

I can grow a tomato in my sketchbook in an hour. To me it feels like magic.

I don’t think I’m brave enough to commit to posting a daily drawing—much as I would like the accountability and encouragement! But maybe I’ll try to keep learning in public once in a while. Something I want my kids to know is that you have to be not-great at something on your way to getting better at it.

Add a Comment
21. SkADaMo 2014 Day 20

jeerkat

What is SkADaMo? Check this out.


2 Comments on SkADaMo 2014 Day 20, last added: 11/26/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
22. SkADaMo 2014 Day 21

catfishes

A pretty obvious one, but hey…

Wondering what SkADaMo is, check this out.


6 Comments on SkADaMo 2014 Day 21, last added: 11/26/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
23. New Sketchbook

A few evenings back, while my drawing buddies were sketching neat pictures of Audrey Hepburn, I was breaking in my new journal with "Portrait of a Man."


Harpo Marx - pencil


0 Comments on New Sketchbook as of 11/26/2014 1:36:00 PM
Add a Comment
24. Day 27 - Crustaceans

studying crustaceans in my sketchbook

studying crustaceans in my sketchbook
Day 27
Topic - crustaceans

The past few days I've tried to go beyond my original challenge and show more finished illustrations instead of just studies. With all the visual research I've done the last month I'm starting to get quite a few fun ideas. I thought it would be more interesting to see the results of my research rather than the research itself. I was hoping to show another finished piece today but I underestimated how hard it is to come up with something finished every day. Anyway I hope you find something of value in seeing my studies.

0 Comments on Day 27 - Crustaceans as of 11/27/2014 5:06:00 AM
Add a Comment
25. Castellers: Monkeys Climbing Human Towers


As well as the fire-breathing dragons, I witnessed another rather unusual spectacle while I was in Sitges. They have a strange competition. I had been told about it, but was so lucky to be there to see it for myself.

It was a Sunday afternoon. Crowds began to gather in the centre of the old town. Then the teams arrived from three local areas. As far as I could gather, despite the acrobatics, they were just ordinary people.



The idea was to create 'human towers' and compete to see which team could get the highest. The base was created by a massive rugby-scrum of people all pushing in to stabilise the core. Then people climbed up over them to balance on each other's shoulders. A small child was always the last to go up, light enough to perch at the top.

This was the first tower. They 
paraded through the crowds in the square, the scrum shuffling along beneath:



But this first tower was just a warm-up. After that, the competition started in earnest and the teams took it in turns to do a much higher tower, first with two people on each layer, then four...

The higher they were, the bigger the bases needed to be to support them. They began forming a second scrum on the shoulders of the first! As they got really high, competing teams would help, adding extra people to each other's scrums, so the towers would be surrounded by a massive crowd of people, all leaning forward on each other's shoulders. 



People at the centre of the second scrum, reached up their arms and supported the bottoms of the people on the next layer up:



The 'monkeys' were the little children. You can see one above, standing on the top scrum, about to climb up. On the big towers, two or three children would climb up at once. In order to fulfil the rules, the monkeys had to not only get to the top, but then circle round the pinnacle, clambering over the top tier of people, before climbing down again.

Each team did three towers, getting taller and wider each time. 
I was just wondering what would happen if one collapsed, when one began to crumble before my eyes!




It was very shocking to see and one older man in particular was very upset afterwards (I wondered if it was him who had first given way) but, amazing, nobody seem to get harmed. 

Talking to a local in the crowd, I learnt that they give a signal if collapse is a possibility, to allow them to do it in a controlled manner, bending their knees and crumpling inwards, rather than falling sideways. The scrum braces to take the impact and nobody hits the ground.

At the end of the competition, there was a clear winner. There was a tense hush during the building of their final tower. The other two groups both got involved on the ground level and the team were very excited when they were done, so their tower was obviously pushing the boundaries.

The event finished with the three teams making lots of smaller towers again, all at once:




Then there was a fantastic celebratory dance. The children rode on the adult's shoulders as they danced around the square while everyone sang and chanted and waved. Wonderful.


0 Comments on Castellers: Monkeys Climbing Human Towers as of 11/28/2014 4:59:00 AM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts