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Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Research 4.0

Visual Diaries


Myfanwy Tristram


On looking through the works of Myfanwy Tristram and reading several of her blog posts, I felt as though I became familiar with her voice, her sense of humour and the way she applies this in her sketchbook diaries.


the general style in the books is pleasing to the eye. They feel young and vibrant, almost like being a younger self making no rules on how to fill a page, combining writing that shift around the page whilst getting smaller by the end so to squeeze the whole thing in with illustrations that sometimes. The drawings are colourful and also feel to carry the same level of humour as the text, although are not caricatures.


Narrowing my search within her website / blog I filtered through the noise so that posts that focused on sketchbooks would only show. In doing this, I found the post "How to make a sketch diary: my top tips" which was loaded with several tips that can help with making a sketchbook diary of your own.


Within this post, Myfanwy links previous posts of hers that features holiday diaries. The one I latched on to was the entry from a holiday to St Ives. The pages seem to carry a balance of writing and illustrations, perhaps swaying more towards the writing. In this, it is clear that Myfanwy enjoys writing her personal thoughts along with the daily talks one might find less eventful. They are superbly written with wit that makes the experience of visiting the diary a joy.





I like the way she includes travel tickets in the pages, and other memorabilia gathered from the holiday, and how they mix with the drawings; something we touched on in the previous section. The blog from Bath holiday show more great examples of this working with a variety of different prints.







Valuable was the advice, I was also pleased to see several links of artists Myfanwy also admired. A list I wasn't able to find alone!


My thoughts


Personally, I'm not one to want to keep a diary of the everyday in the same was a Myfanwy. I have, however, in the past kept a daily diary in a different format, one I would often share through Instagram. I created a style of my own where I would find one thing that either happened, or something I felt, and would make a cartoon doodle based on this. Do I want to include written entries? Maybe? I suppose when posting these cartoons I would include a short explanation for the event or situation I sometimes found myself in. For sketchbooks, on the other hand, I think for me it would be loose thoughts or description scribbled down in case my drawing didn't make sense and I wanted to revisit the drawings.


Here are a few examples of my daily doodle diary.



Birthday gift : an experience day in a rally car


The day the exhaust fell off my little Mini

One of those days : falling asleep in the tea room at work

Very different to the sketchbook journaling but, with humour I was able to bring a snapshot of the day to day life, even if trivial!



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