Random book pages

This week's creative kickstart is inspired by the work of Tom Phillips, who famously illustrated all the pages of a secondhand book he found in 1966.

By picking out a few words, you can begin to build a piece around them - colours, illustration, shapes, additional words, paint, collage, whatever you like.

The hardest part about selecting a few words to inspire the page is not reading it! I found it easier to allow my eyes to drift up the page, right to left, and within this potentially violent suspense passage I found the words silence, inside, slower and quieter, and the rattle of a chain...releasing its grip. I loved that I could find stillness in the middle of a thriller, and I liked the idea of clarity emerging from a dark and murky background.

The problem do you draw silence? How do you draw peace? I represented these ideas with the Sanskrit symbol for breath, with pen, graphite and coloured pencil. There's nothing stopping you using paint (acrylic and gouache will successfully cover text if that's what you'd like), I decided that I didn't want the paper to buckle. You could also use pastels to give you colour, and metallics give incredible highlights.

Appropriately enough, this turned into a blissfully meditative project. If you want to quieten your mind, pick up a pencil!

Next time you've got a book that's falling apart, maybe you'll have a doodle yourself :)

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