If Found Please Return to Elise Gravel (Drawn & Quarterly) is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Part sketch book, part inspiration manual, part how-to-draw book, it is like nothing I’ve come across before.
Elise Gravel has given children an insight into her sketch book, her inspiration and her techniques. Designed in a sketch book format, complete with elastic band and gorgeous rounded corners, each spread shows examples of Gravel’s sketches with annotations and tips for the reader.
But the real joy here is the way she uses this book to inspire the next generation of creatives. She encourages them to draw anything and everything and let their imaginations and their pens run free. She shows children that it is all about having fun. She empowers them, shows them that mistakes are nothing to be embarrassed by and that they have the right to experiment and make ugly drawings. In this generation of standardised testing, teaching to the test and budget cuts stripping creativity from curriculums, children need books like this more than ever. They need the freedom and the inspiration and to be empowered to be creative and experiment and have fun. It is so important and Elise Gravel has done it so beautifully with this book.
She has certainly inspired and empowered my daughter who now has her very own sketchbook with an elastic band and has spent hours drawing everything and anything that comes to mind, without a thought of whether it is ‘right’ or ‘good enough’.
Who can ask for more than that?