In 2007, Madrid-based artist and illustrator Pep Carrió’s expansive diary project began as a challenge with a simple premise: to draw something every day. No matter what materials were at hand and without any predetermined theme or subject matter, he took a game-like approach to see if he could accomplish filling an entire Moleskine datebook throughout the year. The numerous editions that have followed feature a dazzling array of scenes fashioned from marker, pencil, tempera, pen, ink, collage, and found materials.
Carrió’s stream-of-consciousness process has led to a collection that ranges from abstract flora to silhouetted and patterned figures to surreal vessels and landscapes. Originally, the volumes contained one drawing each day with complementary images on facing pages, but in recent years, the artist has begun to more consistently fill the entire spread with a single image, creating bold compositions that play with the symmetry of the book and the confines of its edges. Imagery of sprawling tree branches, obscured faces and masks, and bodies in precarious circumstances strike a metaphorical chord, exploring human society and psychology. His method of completing a drawing each day is itself an exercise in memory, as the diaries have accumulated records of the artist’s thoughts over time and unfurl into a personal archive.
Carrió currently has work on view as part of From Spain with Designtraveling throughout Spain during 2022 and Play with Design at the Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporánea in Valencia through October 23. You can find more information on his website and follow the visual diary project on Instagram.