by Sarah Jacoby

Lisa Perrin’s Sketchbooks


Welcome Lisa Perrin and her sketchbooks! I know Lisa from meeting her during graduate school at MICA. She has since moved onto other intriguing endeavors such as being an award-winning illustrator and designer. Her work has been recognized by The Society of Illustrators, 3×3 Magazine, Juztapoz, The Illustrator’s Club of DC, MD, and VA, and Print Magazine. Some clients include The Saturday Evening Post, Nobrow, Scout Books, The American Visionary Art Museum and Lisa is a wonderful artist and friend and I encourage you all to check out her work at Let’s get to it.


Hi Lisa, Thank you for sitting down with me. Let’s talk about your books. They’re beautiful. How do you feel about them? And, while we’re at it,  sketching itself?

I have always loved sketchbooks, in a hypothetical way. I like other people’s sketchbooks. I probably like your sketchbook. I confess that I have always found them intimidating. I chronically never draw on the first page (because what if I hate it?! And a bad doodle haunts me as a blight on a lovely new book so filled with promise!) My sketchbooks have always become something more like scrapbooks where I paste drawings in as a way to collect them. Most of my “sketchbooks” are over-stuffed folders filled with bits of paper. My very favorite paper in the whole world to draw on it plain printer paper. It has a nice, smooth surface, is often readily available, and doesn’t feel precious. I think I seem to need that. That said, I do have a collection of these scrapbooks and folders dating back to my early teens. They are both hilarious and terrifying to look at now.


So is sketching important to you? Why do you do it? Is it fun or work?

For me the planning stage is the most important part of the process, and it is also the hardest. If I don’t fix problems in the sketch they won’t just magically resolve themselves when I go to final. I really have to force myself not to skip the important parts because making the final art is often more fun. Writing is pretty important too. I usually jot down words before I get to making pictures. I think it depends on the project to determine if sketching feels like work or not. I do love when I am excited about a new project and can’t get everything down on paper fast enough! Sometimes the sketch magically manifests perfectly on the first try and organically flows through me, but most of the time I have to hunker down and wrestle with it.



Okay, bigger question: have you every solved major problems (work, life, otherwise) though doodling/sketching? If so, do elaborate.

No, I wouldn’t say that. I think the logical part of my brain takes over for major problems. Obsessive research and list-making commences.

What’s your favorite thing to draw? Or, what do you naturally do when you put pen to paper?

I naturally draw sprawling vines and various flora. Also, hands.

And what delicate vines, various flora, and hands they are. Respect. Thank you for taking the time Lisa!

Keep up with Lisa via her, Blog or her Twitter or Facebook feeds.