“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”
Last week I had the great privilege of attending the launch of Moleskine’s limited edition range of Mickey Mouse notebooks, which I think is quite a genius yet unsurprising idea if you think about the legacy of both brands: Moleskine notebooks have been scribbled on by some of the greatest creatives, including Oscar Wilde, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Henri Matisse whilst Mickey Mouse is probably the most recognised cartoon character in the world. Mickey’s introduction to cinema audiences heralded a new age of entertainment and the beginning of the Disney empire.
So to celebrate this first-time collaboration and the art of sketching, drawing and design, on a Friday morning was obviously a great start to the end of last week!
The morning began with a delicious buffet breakfast in an upstairs room at Saatchi Gallery’s Mess Restaurant. After we all had a chance to mingle and chat, we were all seated for what was to become a Mickey Mouse drawing masterclass led by Disney Character Artist Seiji Lim.
As much as I have always loved Mickey Mouse and drawing, it had never crossed my mind that I could even attempt to sketch him. Why would it? For some reason Mickey always seemed so untouchable. But Seiji led us through a step-by-step process in piecing Mickey together on the page. And here are my attempts …
At the end of the session, I asked Seiji if he observes people and uses their mannerisms when drawing Mickey Mouse. Seiji explained that at times he does for example adopt the attitude of say a model and translates it onto Minnie Mouse. But he also explained that he always has to be conscious that he also needs to keep in line with the character’s heritage. I found this all fascinating because I have always considered a Moleskine notebook ideal for jotting down observations. And I for one cannot wait to fill my latest notebook with more doodles, ideas and ramblings. Maybe I’ll even give drawing Mickey another try. 😉
The large notebook is priced at £18.50, and the small pocket-sized one is £13.99, which you can buy from selected retailers.