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Sketchbooks are the creative heart of Jo Blaker's practice. Browse examples from a period spanning 20 years, presented in the following categories to demonstrate different uses of Sketchbooks for:

  • Play, Expression & Experimentation

  • Visual Recording & Observational Drawing

  • Ideation, Reflection & Communication


Click on the images or buttons below to view Sketchbooks for each period


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2020 - present

View Jo's most recent sketchbook work, in which she explores the potential of ink, watercolour, water-soluble media & combinations of these materials. The main focus of Jo's current sketchbook practice is observational & restricted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Jo's subjects have been taken from the domestic environment & local landscape. 


2010 - 2020

Jo's sketchbooks from this period document her experimentation with many media; working & thinking at times as an artist & at others as more of an illustrator. The influence of Jo's return to West Yorkshire & her travels to & around the Outer & Inner Hebrides can also be seen in the landscape & botanical subjects which began to feature more heavily in work from this time. 


2000 - 2010

This period covers Jo's time as a BA design & illustration student, when she received her worst art & design grade & some frank feedback on a sketchbook from 2 practicing artists & tutors. 

This feedback motivated the journey Jo has been on, sketchbook in hand, ever since. Sketchbooks from this time feature observational work in pen & biro, on flimsy paper & gradually develop to incorporate collage & work with watercolour. These sketchbooks mark the start of a personal exploration of drawing. 

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