Carmel Campbell – Sketcher Interview


A great thing about sketching is finding like-minded people around the world who share the same passion. A passion to steal small moments from daily life and take pen to paper to capture the world around you. I am very excited to feature Carmel Campbell’s amazing work here, her blog is wonderful and her daily commitment to sketching is inspirational.

Sketching has now become my anchor, something to hold on to while everything around me changes.

Why did you start sketching?
I have been an artist all my life taking a ten-year break after getting married in Australia and moving to the States to raise my two boys. I started working in sketchbooks so I could continue to be an artist when my husband and I took up sailing 4 years ago. I had to become more portable. I could no longer spend my weekends working at home in my studio. I have worked in colored pencil, pastels, oil and pencil however mostly from photos. Reading Cathy Johnson’s book “Artist Journal Workshop” started my journey into sketchbooks and drawing from life. It was through her Facebook group that I discovered other online sketching groups and workshops. Now I rarely work from photos.

Your daily dedication to sketching is amazing, what inspires you to sketch daily?
Art is a part of who I am. Sketching each day just happens I don’t set out to do it. I always carry a small sketching kit in my bag. Waiting for something or someone means sketching. I am somewhat driven and tend to put my whole heart and soul into something and I have done so with sketching. I also like to sketch by myself as I sketch for myself. That is the enjoyment. I have always loved portraiture and people. So I sketch people. Although I try to introduce other aspects of sketching into my work. I do enjoy seeing a person come to life on my page! I set goals for myself. Having goals inspires me to sketch. I may not reach a goal straight away. I tend to get diverted on the way. I am not happy to stay where I am. I am active person and that carries over into my sketching. If I think back to when I worked in my studio I did something art related each day.

What does your mind think about when you are sketching?
I sketch a lot of people in coffee shops, malls and markets. I listen to the conversations around me. I tend to zone out while I sketch. This is when I pick up on the sounds around me. Sometimes I wonder why a person is there. I try to guess what they are doing and their life circumstances as I sketch.

How has sketching made a difference to your life?
My life had been relatively uneventful until three years ago. Sketching has now become my anchor, something to hold on to while everything around me changes. It has helped me through grief, a courtroom trial and relocating to a new state and community. I protect my sketching habit. It is something that belongs to me. That being said, the fun thing about sketching is you can take it anywhere and include it in other activities. I have a very supportive husband who tells me to “go sketch”!

If you could only take 3 sketching tools with you what would they be?
I love tools and sketching bags. I am constantly trying out new things. At the moment my favorite tools are my Sailor pen with bent nib, watercolor travel palette and a brush!

Do you have a favourite?
I have filled over 50 sketchbooks in three years. I am not very good at keeping track of what is in them. So it is hard to say. Although one self-portrait stands out. I went through a self-portrait stage. I had to stop in end because I started drawing everyone like me!

Check out Carmel’s awesome Blog here and Instagram here. Thank you Carmel for sharing how sketching has made a difference to you.

Does sketching provide an anchor for you like it does for Carmel? 


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