Open Sketchbook: David Shrigley

David Shrigley is a Glasgow-based artist. Writer Dave Eggers has referred to him as “probably the funniest gallery-type artist who ever lived.” His drawings tend to have a crude and unfinished quality to them, which made me curious about what his sketchbooks look like. I asked him to share a few images and tell us about them.

PLUMB: What kind of notebooks do you like and how do you use them?

DAVID SHRIGLEY: I have a few that serve different purposes. I have a spiral-bound school notebook in which I write lists of things to draw. I also have a softcover large plain sketchbook in which I write down ideas for artwork and text that might find their way into being drawings. These two books don’t often leave the studio. The latter gets filled up fairly quickly. Then I have a small Moleskine notebook that I carry around with me. This is supposed to be for ideas, and whilst the occasional thought makes it to being an artwork, most of its contents are drawings I do to amuse myself on long journeys and statements that I transcribe from overheard conversations between people of low intellect.

David Shrigley Notebook - Plumb Blog

David Shrigley Notebook Pic 2 - Plumb Blog

David Shrigley Notebook Pic 3 - Plumb Blog

PLUMB: Have you ever lost one?

DAVID SHRIGLEY: The last one I had for maybe eight years before it was full. I lost it once and someone sent it back because I always write my address in them. I felt anxiety over losing it because I am a bit OCD, not because the contents were valuable.

Here are three finished works, courtesy of Galleri Nicolai Wallner in Copenhagen:

David Shrigley - Plumb Blog

David Shrigley Pic 2 - Plumb Blog

David Shrigley Pic 3 - Plumb Blog

Bonus “New Friends” video, because we are all friends after all:

One comment

  1. I own a page from mr shrig’s sketchbook. It’s my only original Shrig, and it’s either the worst or the best Shrigley that I have ever seen. I can’t decide.

    I’m blogging my extensive pile of Shrigley tat in an online exhibition but I’ve not blogged about my sketchbook page yet. I’ll get there in the end but I’ve got about 300 books, badges, skateboards and Letraset sets to get through first.

    — Shrigley collector on

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