Friday, July 14, 2017

Livia Saba -- A Sketchbook Conversation

Today's Sketchbook Conversation is with Livia Saba. I've been following her on Instagram for a while and I think you'll find her artwork delightful.

Here's her story:

Hi! My name is Livia. I am an illustrator/pattern designer living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (moving soon to Worcester, Massachusetts). I create patterns for handmade pouches that I sell in my Etsy shop, Handmade Philosophy


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

I also sell prints of my illustrations and original artwork. I don’t think I have found my style yet. But, by working and reworking things that please me, I’m learning a lot and getting more satisfied with what I do.

Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

I think of my sketchbook as a gym, where I go to work out motor skills, ideas, and techniques. It is a place to exercise. I also use it to brainstorm about my paintings, try new color combinations, and record memories. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the work that I sell, but it is fundamental for my creative process.


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

I’m a self-taught artist and I have been using sketchbooks since the time I started, almost 4 years ago. In the beginning I was afraid to draw something that would ruin my sketchbook and, in the future, would make me embarrassed of my work. 


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

But now I see a sketchbook as a timeline of my ideas and improving techniques. Right now, I use many sketchbooks of different sizes and papers. Some are for drawing with graphite, others for painting with watercolor or gouache. Each sketchbook inspires me to work on different styles depending on the size and paper.


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

Sometimes it is hard to find motivation. Art can make you very frustrated. I constantly judge my work, and usually feel that I have a long way to go. To overcome lack of motivation I push myself to create something every day even if I’m not feeling it. Usually, it is just a matter of getting started: once I see paint flowing and forms taking shape, motivation suddenly comes. 


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

However, I believe that sometimes it is good to take some time off. Nature is my main source of inspiration. There is nothing like looking at a flower, listening to a bird, or admiring a tree to make me inspired. I also love to watch documentaries about wildlife, distant places, science, architecture, and design. I’m interested in how creativity can make the world a better place.


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

I love watercolor and gouache. My favorite brands are Daniel Smith and M. Graham. But I’m always trying other brands. I love to play with new art supplies and see how I can work with them in different ways. I don’t think I have a favorite sketchbook, but I love Stillman & Birn. I usually sketch with B or HB pencil. I’m a fan of Blackwing pencils and Alvin Draftmatic Mechanical Pencil for fine details. I just started using ArtGraf watercolor graphite and I’m having a lot of fun with it.


Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry

My advice for someone who is just starting out is to go for it, draw and paint as often as you can, don’t be afraid of the blank page, and, most important, don’t compare yourself with others. Everybody was a beginner once, and we are always improving. Art is not a competition. Starting is the hardest part but, if you keep going, great things will happen.

Livia Saba, Sketchbook Conversations, sketchbooks, Handmade Philosophy, My Giant Strawberry


Thank you, Livia, for sharing your story and your sketchbooks with us today.

Dear reader, you can connect with Livia:




Missed the other Sketchbook Conversations posts? It's easy to catch up at the series web page.

And for even more inspiration, check out my Artist Interviews




*Photos in this post ©Livia Saba. Used with permission.

8 comments:

  1. Always enjoy the art, inspiration and stories.
    Carla

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  2. So much joy and creativity! Love all the birds especially, and the memories of my childhood painting. I think you do have a style Livia even though you say you haven't found it yet! :)

    Once again, thank you Anne for sharing. You just know what will delight your readers!

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    1. I agree with you, Simone. Livia definitely has a style.

      Glad you enjoyed another Sketchbook Conversation!

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    2. Thank you so much, Simone!! <3 I'm glad to know you both think I have a style, I guess I'm too critical about my work.

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  3. It's such fun to see yet another sketchbook...this one filled with Livia's own unique style. I just love all the sweet handmade pouches over on Etsy!
    These sketchbook conversations are filled with inspiration and wise advice. Thanks for keeping them coming along, Anne.

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    1. You're welcome, Karen. Thanks for being here reading them and finding inspiration. I love when I see you on Instagram connecting with the artists I've featured here.

      :)

      xo

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    2. Thank you, Karen!! I'm happy that you enjoyed my work :)

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