Beyond Humorous: Comments Through Sketch

It could be about you!

Point of View – Series of Sketches © Eleanor Gates-Stuart

Making comment and satirical humour through sketching has been a long time interest of mine. An early start in expressing meaning, admittedly it could be disguised as humorous images, but often more than not, friends that know would ask “that was some dream?!!!!”. Sometimes a dream (those are often documented) but mainly the factors that surround daily life, take a front stage. There are many of these drawings, the small squares of coloured paper with ink drawn and smudged accordingly to its statement or ‘stamp’ of identity,  now placed into a binder so they are all in one place as they have travelled in pockets, luggage, writing pads, passport or digitally on my iPad. The digital ones tend to be a different series as they are created through a digital pencil in my ipad (although sometimes just using my finger on the screen) as opposed to those drawn with pen on paper.

Series of small hand drawn sketches by Eleanor Gates-Stuart. Sketches are on sticky note paper - various colours.
Series of small sketches by Eleanor Gates-Stuart

Often these sketches have appeared in the occasional presentation or conference paper, ‘Art and Science as Creative Catalysts’, originating in my note pad especially whilst thinking through ideas during meetings and studio planning. Not quite the same as the ‘post-its’ sketches as the drawings fill the paper rather than individual sketches or grouped in a collection, often arranged in grid. These note pad sketches are translating a concept ready for production, often termed as the ‘design thinking process’ as shown below.

Meeting Notes and Sketches © Eleanor Gates-Stuart
Meeting Notes and Sketches © Eleanor Gates-Stuart

Above left, show my notes, pages of written text with visual references and sketches taken during a couple of meetings where as the image overplayed on top (wired head) is a sketch for a sculptural work to appear in a video work. On the right side, shows thoughts around a 360 video recorded acting performance where all the elements are experimental, including the narrative. A collaborative production approach with colleagues at Charles Sturt University.

‘Rolling-eyes’ and ‘Scoop-Mindless Appetite’ © Eleanor Gates-Stuart

The sketch could be about you, as many a time a conversation is transcribed, an action or act of delivery, performance, a witness to an event, or simply a means to express comment. The informality of style, the delightful hand-drawn sketch, the immediacy of line on paper, the smudge of ink, the spit of dissolved colour and the authorship of voice through art, makes what can seem humorous and yet powerful images, impactful. The meaning may be complex – maybe not? However, beyond humorous they exist for a purpose to me … enjoy!

Eleanor Gates-Stuart


Art and Science as Creative CatalystsConference: IEEE VIS Arts Program (VISAP)

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