Notes, sketches, patterns, Pre-Raphaelite, and early Renaissance references fill the pages of her sketchbook, accessible to the viewer only through scans. Artist and designer, Charlotte Barry shares with LOS GATOS her sketchbook, which she keeps as pure process, a 12 year process, documenting thoughts and moments she wants to remember, or different states of emotions that she’s feeling at different stages of her life, very personal and very intimate to her.
Working as a designer, Barry finds balance in separating her work life from her art “I find it important as a designer to have different perspectives, like ‘here is my portfolio’ and ‘here is me’ - work and life can coexist very happily without bleeding each other dry. There are of course occasional references, but I don’t know if people would realize - when they see things through their own eyes, I suppose it looks different.”
“It’s all a gut feeling,” Barry tells LOS GATOS, “what is finished, when to stop, and when to move on from a page, there is less pressure to perform given the nature of it being a sketchbook, sometimes I fill pages very quickly and sometimes it’s a painfully slow process, to find ways to be inspired and ways to express myself within these pages.”
Referring to the process as “selfish”, Barry’s only theme within her sketchbook is herself. In the realm of social media and posting culture, there is a strong urge amongst artists to post everything they work on, from starting point to execution, this performance sometimes takes away from the magnetism of art making. For Barry, who thinks of her sketchbook as more of a diary, the process of choosing to scan her pages and posting them publicly or to reserve the pages to herself is subconsciously driven. “It is purely a gut feeling, but like a subconscious gut feeling. Sometimes it’s things that were hard for me, but more often very happy little things. You know, like those warm memories or associations, and I think to myself, that one is precious, I am keeping that one just for me.” Barry tells LOS GATOS, “I do not post the most personal moments. These pages are for me, and I don’t want to subconsciously alter how I draw or write because of sharing online” she adds.
"Sometimes, I think about death, and I wonder what whoever is left will do with all the sketchbooks. It’s a very strange and narcissistic thought about process and love. Strange, no?"
- Charolette Barry
All images courtesy the artist.
FOR MORE ON CHAROLETTE BARRY FOLLOW HER ON INSTAGRAM