mishmash® — Inside the notebook: Júlio Dolbeth

11 Nov 2020

Inside the notebook: Júlio Dolbeth

Júlio Dolbeth is an all-in-one person: studied communication design, multimedia and illustration. As a result of his mastery, he teaches design and illustration at the Fine Arts Faculty of Porto University and has on all kinds of faces his favourite subject.

We will have a sneak peek into some of your most personal objects. How does that make you feel?

I’m cool, it doesn’t bother me at all. I never thought someone would want to see them, but I like it! I usually don’t share them that much, not even with friends. 

The tools and materials artists use are often a reflection of themselves and their work. What tools are indispensable in your process?

Pencils, rubbers and paper mostly. Pencils with different grades, especially the soft ones like 7B and 8B so I can take full advantage of my darker traces. I also use multiple size rubbers and paper. I usually use my paper on notebook format but I also like to draw on big size A3 and A4 notepads.

Do you consider your notebook a personal and intrinsic object? How’s your relationship with this object?

It’s an essential in my life. It sounds cliché but they are always with me. I constantly travel with them, even if I’m just getting out of the house for some random chore. I tend to grab my notebook faster than a book when I am travelling too.

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I was much more in favor of paper-only in past years to be honest.

Júlio Dolbeth, Professor at Fine Arts Faculty of Porto University

Do you collect your finished notebooks?

Yes, even if I don’t necessarily want to come back to them, I never get rid of them. I have around forty notebooks around the house since I began drawing. Going back to them it’s always a little bit strange, as you can see a lot of early on experiments. It’s also nice because I can recognize an enormous evolution in them.

At what stage of your creative process do you tend to grab your notebook more than any other tool?

My notebooks are like an anchor to me. They give me a lot of confidence in my work because when I am running out of ideas, I can always find them when I grab a pencil and paper. It’s something very magical and at the same time very natural that happens between those two things. When things are grabbed out of context, they usually make a lot more sense. Regardless of what stage my thoughts are in, I always come back to them.

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The paper you use reveals a lot of who you are. Are you a ruled, dotted or plain kind of person?

Plain definitely. Even though I am really enjoying mishmash’s dotted pages at the moment. When I’m drawing I always prefer a blank page. It has to be a smooth paper though, I don’t like a textured paper that much, and I gravitate to a more natural coloured paper. Winsor & Newton in 220 gsm is my favourite really!

If I decide to make a doodle in the middle of that page right now, will you let me or would I upset you?

Not at all, be my guest, I love it! My nephews always ask me if they can draw in my notebooks and I always let them. I don’t mind that at all.

Do you usually share your notebook with others, or is it something highly secretive?

Not secretive, I can share it with anyone!

And lastly, we believe paper has a bright future ahead, regardless of what paper-haters may say. What’s your opinion on the future of paper?

I was much more in favour of paper-only in past years, to be honest. I didn’t like digital at all when I was just starting, but I guess things also improved a lot in that sense. Nonetheless, I always need paper. Even right now when I am starting to think of jumping into the iPad Pro bandwagon I am guessing I will always need my paper. I have changed my view from a paper purist over the years to looking at digital tools as a complement of my practice too.

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