Name: Nic Carlyle
Country: South West London
Places Travelled & Place lived: Just happy to be home.
Loves: anthropology, art, love and good cooking.
Education: BA Hons in Theology & Religious Studies; MA in Library & Information Studies; MSc in Social and Political Theory; MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology.
Occupation: Civil Servant; researcher; librarian – “resting” for the moment.
Creative Works: I do things in terms of drawing, painting, writing, cooking to amuse myself, and, surprisingly, people seem to like the results too. Particularly the cooking.
What would one find in the pages of your Paperblanks journal?
Strange puzzling worlds conjured up over the past seven years, written and painted in bursts of as long as one can drink three coffees. My first Paperblanks book, an Old Leather Saddleworn, was written as an illustrated summation of things that had intrigued me over the previous ten years or so, and it ended up as something of an odyssey of the tastes and experience of my life. I came out of the process, calmer, wiser, and totally covered in ink. That first book had quite a bit of text in it, but I said most of what I wanted to say, and the pictures have taken over in subsequent volumes.
Do you have any specific themes that you continually address in your work?
The themes that appear are my current obsessions. Often there is a narrative flow, or a thematic development, but that is unintentional. For instance, in my first book, I would draw and write up the dream I had the night before, and after a two page interlude, go back to the latest interest. They are all scrapbooks of ideas.
How are you inspired to make creativity an essential part of your life?
I have painted for most of my life; I have written at various points too, sometimes as part of my job, less so for pleasure. But it was the re-evaluation that came with my middle years that brought the two creative forms together. My wife has spent most of the past thirteen years studying intensively while holding down an impressive career. She is latterly about to submit her PhD thesis, after six years’ part-time study. Thus, I had to do something congenial, and whilst I too studied, I needed something to encapsulate my feelings and stray thoughts quietly. I do all the cooking, which I enjoy, and it will be only a matter of time before recipes start appearing in my Paperblank journals.
What sets Paperblanks apart from other journals you’ve used?
Paperblanks are both robust and stylish. Each journal is within my bag daily for about eighteen months, but takes the punishment very well. The paper is well bound into the cover – only one book has begun to show a likelihood of shedding pages in the future. The paper holds up to some pretty intense inking (I use Tombow pens), without bleeding through to the other side of the page. They even carry metal inks. And the journals are stylish. They are so pleasant to handle, particularly with that snap of the wrap that suggests the book has a life of its own. Further, there seems to be styles and sizes to meet every user’s needs.