Reporting from Clermont-Ferrand

Although I came back on Monday and now it's back to business as usual, I'd still like to report on my visit to Clermont-Ferrand.

Wait what? Where?
Clermont-Ferrand. It's in France. In the middle of France. Some say, in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by a chain of dormant vulcanoes, and in an industrial area, this city is a place where you don't end up accidentally. Every year however, a festival of travel art journals takes place here: "Rendez-vous du Carnet de Voyage"

I thought it would be a fun experience to go there and to get inspired by the sketchbook artists who participate, and by their art. At the event, there are booths for participating artists, where they display their work and where you get to actually hold their personal art journals and flip through the pages on which they document their lives. For example, you can see, feel and if you want, even smell the sketchbooks of great leading artists like Lapin and Miguel Herranz, but also find out about new artists, like I did by discovering the work of Titwane, Cendrine Bonami Redler and Benjamin Flao. And a lot of others! To name a few that stood out for me: Joel Guevara, Santi Salles, Lluisot, Lolmède and Gabriele Genini.

I was lucky to be in the company of Jean-Christophe Defline, my pal from Paris, and fervent Sketchbook Skool Student AND teacher (his lesson in 'Storytelling' is seriously amazing and fun). We spent 5 hours at the event, eyeballing all the fantastic art, pointing out drawings to each other and chatting with the artists in their booths. 
Our timing was perfect, because we found Lapin at the book signing department, just when he was wrapping up and going for a break, so we had lunch with him, his wife and super cute daughter, and Miguel.
Quite sheepishly, Miguel Herranz and I look into the camera. So happy to finally be meeting one of my heroes on whom I've had an art crush ever since I first discovered his blog.
Lapin draws Jean-Christophe Defline
Me getting nervous about lapin drawing me
Lapin eased my nerves by handing me his seventies kit he uses for night sketching

Miguel Herranz drawing Lapin drawing me.
I love how Lapin drew my freckles! (and was kind enough to leave out the pimples that had suddenly popped up in my face that morning)
Miguel then also drew my portrait. Afterwards, he handed me a button to make up for it, haha. Although I love the portrait, he was feeling a bit sorry.
Lolmède in his booth
I have been drooling over Cendrine Bonami Redler's drawings
The next morning, a bunch of SketchbookSkoolers met up for a Sketch Meet

We all struggled to capture that massive, black cathedral in our sketchbooks

And I miserably failed, but had fun anyway.

I actually like the quick warm-up drawing of the cathedral, in my mini sketchbook better.

...And the drawing I did of the statue opposite of the church,  in my mini sketchbook.

I hope you liked this little report! I'll share my travel pages of my trip later, in another blogpost.