When Julie asked if I’d come along to her daughter’s high school graduation and capture it in sketches, I jumped at the opportunity.
There’s so many aspects of the project I knew I would love. Reportage sketching is my favorite kind of drawing. In the thick of activity or on the fringe of it, you’re always observing, capturing big moments and places but also little asides and details, all as one experience: It’s pretty special. And, there’s a sense of urgency in capturing stuff that only happens once.
Best of all, when someone trusts you with as open a brief as “come along and do what you do” and leaves the rest open to you, you know it’s going to go well!
I decided that an accordion book was best suited to capturing the evening’s story. ( A little risky, yes, no room for errors, no pages you can tear out :), but still I liked what the format did for the experience) The square Hahnemühle ZigZag book is what I used. The paper is lovely for watercolor and my pen handles well on it too.
I planned to fill up the front and back of the accordion fold over the evening. Here is a view of both sides.
And here are a few closeups of key moments from the graduation and celebration with the family soon after. Time-stamping my sketches gave a sense of pacing to the moments captured in the book. I kept my writing to a minimum besides this: This was a personal piece, and no explanations and notes were required. (Also, less room for spelling errors!)
And at the end of the evening, the graduate received an 8×8 book full of sketches to mark the day. Congratulations Tatum, and best wishes.