The Second Gift

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A few years ago, I gave a student of mine an extra sketcbook that I had. It had an accordian format that I didn’t have a use for. A year ot two later, in the mail, the sketchbook came back – filled with amazing sketches of her life after college in South Korea. A note stated that she was returning the book. I was stunned, and wrote about in a previous post.

Since then, I’ve told the story to my students often, and each time they are wide eyed and moved like I was, by both the beauty of the work, and by the gesture.

Two years ago, a quiet student named Yi Bin Liang from Singapore came up to me after  class and said, “I would like a sketchbook.” I explained that I did have more sketchbooks, but that they come with no strings attached. I thought for sure that she was simply asking for a sketchbook knowing that I have extras – ones I’ve bought or been given, and were not going to be used any time soon. But that’s not what she meant.

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The following year, after graduating, getting married, and starting a new life outside of Boston, Yi Bin returned to school and handed me the book. She said she was finished and was giving it back.

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Turning the pages, I saw that these were more than just drawings. They were the recordings of an important time in her life. Some featured her new husband, Will, who was also a student of mine, as well as other ex-students. In the drawings, you see Yi Bin’s reflections of a new life in America. You see wonder and warmth. And of course you see the remarkable sketching of a great young artist

I will guard the book with my life and use it as an inspiration for my classes. And I will return the book to Yi Bin immediately upon request!

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More wonderful work by Yi Bin Liang can be found at her website: https://yibinliang.com

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Meet the Illustrator: Olimpia Zagnoli

One of my favorite contemporary illustrators is Olimpia Zagnoli who lives and works in Milan. This short film, made by Mercedes Benz, introduces her and shows us how thoughtful she is as a maker and a communicator.

Non-Stop Curiousity

 

“To all the young students watching, and listening, I want to emphasise that feeding one’s imagination is an ongoing task – a journey of curiousity and discovery can never stop. There is no arrival. It is a process, and perhaps the most significant player in it, is time.

Critical thinking, creativity and collaboration are the three tenants on which I have built my entire understanding of being an artist.”

-Shahzia Sikander, 10/16 Gail Silver Memorial Lecture, RISD