Paris Sketchbook | Jason Brooks Paints a Portrait of Paris

22nd July 2013
Guy Humphrey

CUT1 Paris Sketchbook | Jason Brooks Paints a Portrait of Paris

Shopping in Paris, Pg 94-95, ©Jason Brooks

Paris Sketchbook by Jason Brooks brings together 200 drawings, sketches, collages and notes in the form of a beautifully illustrated journal, which aims to give the audience a deeper understanding of Parisian life.

Published by Laurence King in May 2013, Paris Sketchbook presents a year-long, seasonal repertoire of why the French capital is adored by so many. This is achieved through themed chapters such as Architecture, The Street, Shopping, Fashion, and Art. The dynamic book is a vivid exploration of the culture and history of Paris and its population.

Paris 14 15 Architecture Paris Sketchbook | Jason Brooks Paints a Portrait of Paris

Architecture in Paris, pg 14-15, ©Jason Brooks

Monuments such as the Eiffel Tower are explored, as well as buildings such as the Grande Palais and Sacre-Coeur. Parisian alleyways and buildings such as the Notre Dame are portrayed in great detail, with fluid line sketches and drawings that allow readers to lose themselves in an artistic Parisian landscape.

One particular artistic impression shows various postcards Brooks has collected of the Eiffel Tower, and how the iconic monument has changed from an “avant garde statement to a beloved and ubiquitous symbol of Paris.”

Brooks notes that ‘le cafés’ are the cultural meeting place of the French capital and are a great place to experience the essence of a town or city first-hand. Featuring many artistic works of Café de Flore, Les Deux Magots and Brassiere Lipo, the book definitely encapsulates this notion.

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Fashion in Paris, pg 76-77, ©Jason Brooks

Having worked in the fashion industry, Brooks focuses heavily on notable Parisian fashion, specifically the fact that many of the biggest fashion houses in the world can be found on the streets of Paris. Highlighting what every Parisian has, or should have in their wardrobe, even touching on what constitutes the ‘perfect pair of jeans’, makes the Fashion chapter striking, and a perfect representation of the artist’s career.

Along with fashion, comes the fact that Paris is one of the shopping capitals of the world. Plucking on Andy Warhol’s words that department stores are like museums, which Brooks believes can be said for Parisian shops, Paris Sketchbook demonstrates some of the most exquisite shop window displays that can be found in Paris.

Paris Sketchbook Page 45 Street Paris Sketchbook | Jason Brooks Paints a Portrait of Paris

Paris Sketchbook, pg 45, ©Jason Brooks

Talking about Paris, Brooks says: “The aesthetics of the city endlessly inspiring, it is a place imbued with a unique feeling of history, elegance and glamour. Paris also holds many happy memories for me personally, from my childhood drawing on paper napkins in restaurants to making illustrated reports from the Couture Fashion shows in my twenties. It is a city that I love and keep coming back to.”

Most famous for working with Vogue and Elle magazine, as well as working with advertising campaigns for Veuve Clicquot and Virgin Atlantic travel, the St. Martin’s College-educated Brooks is now featured in the permanent collection at the V&A museum.